Dye in Water

Developing a Model of Thermal Energy, Atoms, and Molecules

Grades:
6-8
Learning Goal(s):
Students will develop a model through collaborative inquiry to explain thermal kinetic energy and predict the outcome when heat is added to a substance. Students will build argumentation from evidence skills through collaborative sense-making and gallery walk presentations. Students will develop a model of atomic and molecular structures.  
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Hot Pack

Unit Plan - Chemical Differences in Emergency Energy Sources

Grades:
7-8
Learning Goal(s):
To build empathy for people in emergency situations and an understanding of how access to energy resources can increase one’s safety, health, and comfort. To understand the nature of a variety of energy needs and how different applications have different optimal solutions. To develop models to explain the molecular and extended structures of energy resources, including how the resources change when energy is generated (Electron movement in PV cells, combustion reactions in fuel). To understand that the properties of substances depends upon the atomic / molecular structure, which changes with chemical reactions. To build a circuit that includes a solar module and measure the voltage and current. To gather and evaluate information to describe the impact on society of converting natural resources into PV cells. To design, build and test a device that uses a chemical reaction to generate or absorb thermal energy. Evaluate and revise a plan for the energy resources one should store to prepare for a natural disaster. 
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Solar Circuit

Solar vs. Battery Circuits

Grades:
4-5
Learning Goal(s):
Students will do experiments that reinforce the idea that the sun’s energy can be transferred into electrical energy. Students will also explore and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of solar energy. Students will discuss how solar energy compares to other forms of energy generation.
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Unit:
Lesson Number:
6
Author:
Debbie Abel
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
50 min
Sun in Space

Our Place in Space: Tracking the Earth's Path Around the Sun

Grades:
1-3
Learning Goal(s):
Students will be able describe how the Earth orbits the Sun and how the tilt of the planet creates the seasons by recording the ‘Sun’s path’ in our sky in the fall, winter, and spring.
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Lesson Number:
3
Author:
Jamie Repasky
Relevant NGSS PE:
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
6 hours
Energy Transformations

What is Energy?

Grades:
4-6
Learning Goal(s):
Students will obtain the foundational knowledge of energy sources and forms of energy. In addition, students will learn that energy can transfer from one form to another. Students will build the understanding that there are different types of energy and many can not be directly observed.
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Unit:
Lesson Number:
1
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:
Author:
Carol Patrick
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour
Earth Sun

Individual Independent Projects

Grades:
3-5
Learning Goal(s):
Students will plan, gather research materials and create a project of their choice. In doing so student will learn proper research methods (i.e., reliable sources) and how to categorize and translate information. In addition students will become comfortable and familiar presenting information to others. Lastly, students will also learn how to create a rubric for self evaluation.
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Earth Sun

Saving Lives with Solar Ovens

Grades:
3-5
Energy Content:
Learning Goal(s):
Students will learn about different solar cooker designs and how they function. Students will learn the customs, jobs, food and clothing of people in different countries of Africa.
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Energy Transformations

Probes of Prior Knowledge

Grades:
2-5
Learning Goal(s):
Students will be able to identify the different ways that electrical energy (electricity) is transformed (generated) and identify different everyday items that use electricity.
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Lesson Number:
2
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:
Author:
Mike Hellis
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour