Lesson 6: Solar Mobile Design Challenge - Construction

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0
Author:
Kristy Schneider
Intended Grade Level(s):
6th
7th
8th
Subject Area(s) Covered:
engineering design process
Solar design
Circuit design
Estimated Activity Length:
6 hours
Learning Goal(s):
  1. Students brainstorm ideas and share with their group.
  1. Students draw and label Solar Mobile designs in Engineering Notebooks.

  2. Students research an aircraft to trace (if this was not accomplished in the Center of Gravity lesson) and trace the aircraft outline onto foam board.

  3. Students construct a solar circuit to power motors and propellers on a foam board aircraft and test multiple times before adding to the solar mobile stand.

  4. Students construct solar mobile stand and add their aircraft to a dowel attached to the central hub.

  5. Students work with a partner to balance each aircraft onto the mobile.

  6. Students test the mobile speed outside (depending on weather) and compare to speed under indoor light stands.

  7. After initial testing, students redesign circuits or mobile construction to optimize design.

  8. Students use hand-held devices to film their moving Mobiles to judge the machine’s speed.

  9. Students demonstrate how their Solar Mobile works and justify in writing why their mobile should be chosen for the Children’s Technology Museum. 

This is the culminating hands-on project for the Solar Mobile Design Challenge Lessons, with construction aligned to an engineering design process. Students start by

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Lesson 5: Light Source Efficiency-Exploring Irradiance

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Author:
Kristy Schneider
Intended Grade Level(s):
6th
7th
8th
Subject Area(s) Covered:
electromagnetic radiation
Irradiance
Pyranometer
Estimated Activity Length:
2 hours
Learning Goal(s):
  1. Using a Vernier Pyranometer, students will measure electromagnetic radiation in watts per square meter (W/m2 ).

  2. Students will compare Sunlight irradiance with various indoor lighting options.

  3. Students will make a recommendation as to the optimum indoor lighting for powering solar panels. 

This lesson explores the concept of irradiance by having students use a Vernier Pryanometer. Using the “Light Source Efficiency” worksheet

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Lesson 3: Exploring Center of Gravity

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0
Author:
Kristy Schneider
Intended Grade Level(s):
6th
7th
8th
Subject Area(s) Covered:
Center of Gravity
mass
Balanced Forces
Stability
Estimated Activity Length:
2 hours
Learning Goal(s):
  1. Students will observe a discrepant event and write down questions about what they observed.

  2. Students will participate in a variety of activities using a meter stick in order to experience and learn about center of gravity.

  3. Students will find the center of gravity of an irregular shaped paper object by using a plumb line.

  4. Students will apply the concept of Center of Gravity and find the center of their solar aircraft that is to be used on their solar mobile. 

Since the concept Center of Gravity (mass) is a key factor in a mobile, students will participate in some activities to help them experience and understand this principle so it can be applied to their final

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Lessons 2: Exploring Circuits and Optimum Power

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0
Author:
Kristy Schneider
Intended Grade Level(s):
6th
7th
8th
Estimated Activity Length:
3 hours
Learning Goal(s):
  1. Students build series circuits using grain of wheat bulband LEDs powered by various low voltage solar panels.
  1. Students build parallel circuits using grain of wheat and LED bulbs powered by various low voltage solar panels.

  2. Students demonstrate and draw the energy transfer using solar energy.

  3. Students draw a circuit diagram of their final optimal circuit.

  4. Students design an optimal circuit model that will be used in their final project. 

This lesson is an exploratory learning cycle that will give the instructor input as to where students are in their understanding of circuits and also scaffolds student learning. This lesson starts by engaging

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Lesson 1: Introducing the Solar Mobile Design Challenge

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0
Author:
Kristy Schneider
Intended Grade Level(s):
6th
7th
8th
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour
Learning Goal(s):
  1. Students will be introduced to solar aircraft.

  2. Students will form and write questions about solar aircraft into their Engineering Notebooks setting the stage for future questions.

  3. Students will be introduced to a room-sized solar mobile and add additional questions to their engineering notebook.

  4. Students will be introduced to the engineering design scenario. 

This lesson is aimed to engage students and build excitement for their future engineering design challenge of building the fastest Solar Powered Mobile. Through multi-media resources, Students will encounter

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Solar Mobile Design Challenge Unit Plan

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0
Author:
Kristy Schneider
Intended Grade Level(s):
6th
7th
8th
Estimated Activity Length:
0 sec
Learning Goal(s):
  1. Students will design circuits using various solar panels in order to power motors with propellers.

  2. Students will learn about solar energy transfer in order to power the motors on their solar aircraft.

  3. Students will research an aircraft and draw an outline of the aircraft onto foam board.

  4. Students will explore the concept of center of gravity.

  5. Students will test the efficiency of various light sources (incandescent, fluorescent, LED, halogen) for usage by a PV cell.

  6. Students will use their prior testing results and knowledge to engineer a solar-powered mobile.

  7. 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.

  8. Students will demonstrate and explain why their solar mobile should be chosen for the solar mobile display in the children’s museum. 

 

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

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Lesson 5: Engineering a Hot Pack

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0
Author:
Melody Childers
Intended Grade Level(s):
7th
8th
Subject Area(s) Covered:
engineering design
Chemical Reactions
Exothermic Reactions
Estimated Activity Length:
5 hours
Learning Goal(s):
  1. Students will collect data to characterize a chemical reaction

  2. Students will identify the criteria and constraints of an engineering challenge.

  3. Students will design and build a hot pack that meets the criteria of the project.

  4. Students will collect data to support their proposed design. 

Through a series of inquiry activities, students will discover the properties of the chemical reaction of dissolving CaCl

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Lesson 4: Research and Evaluate the Impact on the Environment and Society of Converting Natural Resources into PV Cells

Average Rating:
0
Author:
Melody Childers
Intended Grade Level(s):
7th
8th
Subject Area(s) Covered:
Photovoltaic Cells
Silicon
climate change
natural resources
Estimated Activity Length:
6 hours
Learning Goal(s):

1. Students will evaluate information to describe the impact on society from resource extraction and materials-processing for PV cells.

2. Students will communicate their understandings of different impacts from converting natural resources into PV cells through participation in a Socratic Seminar. 

Students will engage in guided research to explore resource acquisition, material processing, and electricity generation associated

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Lesson 3: Fuels and PV Cells

Average Rating:
0
Author:
Melody Childers
Intended Grade Level(s):
7th
8th
Subject Area(s) Covered:
fuels
combustion reactions
PV effect
model
circuits
conservation of mass
Estimated Activity Length:
0 sec
Learning Goal(s):
  1. Students explore the conservation of mass in chemical reactions by observing and modeling combustion reactions and exploring the essential question/phenomena, “is all fire the same?”

  2. Students will use information resources and a 3D model of a PV cell to understand how solar modules generate electricity. “How do PV cells make electricity?”

  1. Students will construct circuits to explore PV modules and variables involved in powering devices.

  2. Students evaluate, revise, and justify the energy resources suggested on an emergency preparedness supply list. 

Students will return to the phenomena of energy resources to support safety, health, and comfort in an emergency situation. They will distinguish between how common materials provide energy and develop an

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Lesson 2: Developing a Model of Thermal Energy, Atoms, and Molecules

Average Rating:
0
Author:
Melody Childers
Intended Grade Level(s):
7th
8th
Subject Area(s) Covered:
Chemistry
Atomic Structure
Molecular Structure
Thermal Kinetic Energy
Estimated Activity Length:
9 hours
Learning Goal(s):
  1. Students will develop a model through collaborative inquiry to explain thermal kinetic energy and predict the outcome when heat is added to a substance.

  2. Students will build argumentation from evidence skills through collaborative sense-making and gallery walk presentations.

  3. Students will develop a model of atomic and molecular structures.

 

Through a series of exploration and inquiry activities, students will explain kinetic molecular theory, atomic, and molecular structures. Students will be challenged to gradually increase the precision of

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