Solar Mobile

Light Source Efficiency: Exploring Irradiance

Grades:
6-8
Lesson Number:
4
Description:
This lesson explores the concept of irradiance by having students use a Vernier Pryanometer. Using the “Light Source Efficiency” worksheet to guide their work, students measure irradiance as compared to the Sun’s irradiance to see what would be the best li...
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Learning Goal(s):
Using a Vernier Pyranometer, students will measure electromagnetic radiation in watts per square meter (W/m2 ). Students will compare Sunlight irradiance with various indoor lighting options. Students will make a recommendation as to the optimum indoor lighting for powering solar panels. 
Author:
Kristy Schneider
Estimated Activity Length:
2 hours
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
Solar Updraft Tower

Solar Updraft Towers Unit Overview

Grades:
3-8
Description:
Students will combine research, direct observations, and hands-on investigation to lead them into an engineering design project involving the construction of a solar updraft tower. During this process, students will make references to specific phenomena they...
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will understand ten renewable and non-renewable energy sources on the earth.Students will learn the locations of different energy sources on the earth.Students will learn the history of energy sources and how humans have used them.Students will learn about innovations and inventions used to find, recover, store, and release energy for human consumption.Students will understand that hot air risesStudents will understand why hot water and hot air rise and cold air and cold water sink.Students will learn that wind is produced by warm air rising and cold air sinking.Students will learn that the energy of moving hot air can be converted into other forms of energy.Students will understand that energy from the sun can be converted into heat.Students will discuss the effects of the chimney stack phenomenon.Students will understand that wind energy can be converted into other forms of energy.Students will determine different methods to increase the effectiveness of a wind turbine blade by harnessing and converting the mechanical energy of the wind.Students will determine that thermal energy resulting from the sun’s radiation can create an updraft that will power a turbine to spin.                                       Students will identify characteristics of turbine design that improve the success of their device.Students will utilize content from previous phenomena they investigated, such as the chimney stack effect and Norwegian candle toys, to determine how to best harness the energy transformed by their device from the sun.Students will be able to define and explain what a solar updraft tower is.Students will make connections between their previous engineering challenge and a real world solution to the world’s growing energy demands.
Author:
Lisa Morgan
Estimated Activity Length:
10 hours
Kill-A-Watt_Meter

Energy Efficiency - Lighting

Grades:
4-5
Unit:
Lesson Number:
4
Description:
In this lesson, students will learn how to read light bulb packaging (lighting facts) and do a whole class experiment comparing a 60-watt incandescent to an equivalent CFL and an LED bulb. This experiment will be conducted using a kil-o-watt meter, engaging...
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will understand what energy efficiency means, and learn how to choose energy efficient light bulbs. Students will determine which lightbulbs are the most efficient. Students will understand how energy efficiency relates to energy generation and climate change.
Author:
Debbie Abel
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
50 min
Sun in Space

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

Grades:
1-3
Lesson Number:
3
Description:
During sessions in October, January, and April we will discuss observations about the weather during that season (temperature, length of day, precipitation) and explore how this relates to the Earth’s movement around the Sun. The lesson series will start with...
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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.
Author:
Jamie Repasky
Relevant NGSS PE:
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
6 hours
Sun in Space

Our Place in Space: Cosmic Ray Detector

Grades:
3-5
Lesson Number:
2
Description:
The students will be introduced to solar radiation with an activity centered on using a cloud chamber to visualize cosmic rays.
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Learning Goal(s):
• Students will discuss how energy from the sun is transmitted in a variety of forms that perform different amounts of work. • Students will identify multiple pieces of evidence that demonstrate energy being transmitted from the sun.
Author:
Jamie Repasky
Relevant NGSS PE:
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour
Sun in Space

Our Place in Space: Cosmic Rays

Grades:
3-5
Lesson Number:
1
Description:
NOTE: SUN PHOTOMETER SUMULATOR AT CAS.HAMPTONU.EDU SEEMS TO BE NO LONGER AVAILABLE. Using a map of school buildings, students will pick four areas to monitor over the year using wireless weather stations and the Solar Power Meter. In a following lesson,...
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will learn how the sun affects their school by measuring the temperature at different locations around the building in the fall, winter, and spring. They will learn how to measure solar energy and look for trends in temperature and solar power over the year. These trends will then be used to investigate how energy reaches Earth from the Sun.
Author:
Jamie Repasky
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
3 hours
Energy Transformations

What is Energy Transfer?

Grades:
4-6
Unit:
Lesson Number:
2
Description:
Students will continue to build an understanding of the fundamentals of energy through observing and describing a variety of energy transformations and build on their foundational vocabulary for identifying and discussing energy concepts. In this stage of the...
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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 be able to match images of energy transformations to their respected vocabulary.
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:
Author:
Carol Patrick
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
2 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
Basic Stamp Microprocessor

Dual Axis Light Tracking

Grades:
9-12
Lesson Number:
4
Description:
Students will take the previous lesson and apply them in creating a light tracker with two degrees of freedom. The axis of rotation will be about the horizontal and vertical. Teams will have everything they need to make this build work. They have already...
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will create a solar tracker with two degrees of freedom.
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:
Author:
Pat Blount
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour

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