Solar Mobile

Solar Mobile Design Challenge Unit Plan

Grades:
6-8
Description:
This unit involves students learning about transferring solar energy to small motors, exploring the center of gravity and testing light sources (including the sun). The culminating engineering design project gives students the chance to pull together their...
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will design circuits using various solar panels in order to power motors with propellers. Students will learn about solar energy transfer in order to power the motors on their solar aircraft.Students will research an aircraft and draw an outline of the aircraft onto foam board. Students will explore the concept of center of gravity. Students will test the efficiency of various light sources (incandescent, fluorescent, LED, halogen) for usage by a PV cell.Students will use their prior testing results and knowledge to engineer a solar-powered mobile. Students will work to transfer the most energy from the solar panels considering all the tested variables in order to power the fastest, most efficient mobile.Students will demonstrate and explain why their solar mobile should be chosen for the solar mobile display in the children’s museum. 
Author:
Kristy Schneider
Relevant NGSS PE:
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
0 sec
Design a 50 Year Energy Plan

50 Year Energy Plan - Unit Plan

Grades:
9-12
Description:
Throughout this creative, hands-on Unit, students are challenged to scale up every Disciplinary Core Idea and Science & Engineering Practice they’ve learned - from simple electricity generation, to building their own stereo speakers and DIY electric...
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Learning Goal(s):
Explore causes and effects of climate change as related to energy production. Develop a working understanding of varying stakeholder perspectives on the causes and effects of climate change. Through hands-on exploration, build a working speaker that can connect to a cellphone. Use DIY speakers as a model to observe the process of producing electrical currents with a simple generator. Design, build and refine a wind turbine to efficiently convert mechanical energy into electrical energy. Design, build and refine a system that is the most effective at converting the sunlight into electrical energy. Students develop models to study the relationship between the Earth’s atmospheric composition and the Earth’s surface temperatures using simple diagrams. Students reflect on the impact of energy sources and power production on the environment. Students utilize their knowledge of how energy generation processes impacts the environment to inform how and why they develop a 50-year Energy Plan for their local community. 
Author:
Bradford Hill
Estimated Activity Length:
0 sec
Electric Current Induction

Wave Attenuator Unit Overview

Grades:
6-12
Description:
Through a series of learning experiences, students will experiment with the basic concepts of motion to electrical energy transformation. Students start by building a series of models that demonstrate the interactions between magnetic and electric fields...
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Learning Goal(s):
1. Students will demonstrate energy transfer through space using electromagnetic phenomena. 2. Students will design a model that demonstrates that a current-carrying wire can induce magnetism. 3. Students will define and build an electromagnet. 4. Students will demonstrate electromagnetic induction. 5. Students will describe and model the energy transfer and transformation in a wave attenuator. 6. Students will build a wave attenuator using a diagram and selected materials. 7. Students will test the model wave attenuator they built. 8. Students will investigate variables that may affect the output of an energy conversion device (wave attenuator). 9. Students will interpret data to identify which variables increase electrical output for these model wave attenuators. 10. Students will communicate results from scientific inquiry to identify factors that are important to optimizing the design of a wave attenuator.
Author:
Tabatha Roderick
Estimated Activity Length:
10 hours
Wave Attenuator

Building a Tidal Wave Attenuator

Grades:
6-12
Lesson Number:
2
Description:
This lesson is designed to build upon investigations of electromagnetic energy by applying these phenomena to transfer the kinetic energy moving in waves to electricity by building a wave attenuator.
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Learning Goal(s):
1. Students will describe and model the energy transfer and transformation in a wave attenuator. 2. Students will build a wave attenuator using a diagram and selected materials. 3. Students will test the model wave attenuator they built.
Author:
Tabatha Roderick
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
2 hours
Electric Current Induction

Introduction to Electromagnetism

Grades:
6-12
Lesson Number:
1
Description:
Through a series of goal-oriented activities and research, students will build physical models that demonstrate the interactions between magnetism and magnetic fields as well as interactions between magnetism and electric fields. Students will be challenged...
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Learning Goal(s):
1. Students will demonstrate energy transfer through space using electromagnetic phenomena. 2. Students will design a model that demonstrates that a current-carrying wire can induce magnetism. 3. Students will define and build an electromagnet. 4. Students will demonstrate electromagnetic induction.
Author:
Tabatha Roderick
Estimated Activity Length:
3 hours
Magnetic Field Filings

Three Ways to Generate Electricity

Grades:
7-8
Lesson Number:
4
Description:
This lesson gives students hands-on experiences with the attraction and repulsion of magnets including experiments with how the strength of attraction and repulsion varies with distance. Students see how magnets are used in motors but also in electric...
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will be able to: • Detect the relative strength of magnetic fields at different distances from a magnet • Explain the energy transformations occurring in each part of a circuit • Identify three different methods for generating electricity
Author:
Craig Marais
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
3 hours
Energy Transformations

What is Energy?

Grades:
4-6
Unit:
Lesson Number:
1
Description:
Students will gain an understanding of the fundamentals of energy through observing a variety of energy transformations and develop a foundational vocabulary for identifying and discussing energy concepts. Students will make observations about how energy is...
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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.
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:
Author:
Carol Patrick
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour