Kill-a-Watt Meter

Home Energy Consumption

Grades:
6-8
Description:

Students will calculate the energy consumption of a set of common household devices based on their operating power rating and then investigate the power consumption of other devices in their homes.

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Learning Goal(s):
Students will understand power and energy as they relate to their electricity use. Students will be able to calculate energy consumption and the associated costs. Students will investigate ways they could reduce their own energy consumption
Author:
Deb Frankel
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour
Source:
University of Colorado Boulder
Published:
2020
Last Updated:
2020
Intended Grade Level:
3-5,
MS,
HS
Description:

A series of over 150 digitial interacitves that allow students to explore a wide variety of science concepts, from simple energy transformations and motion, as well as beahvior of electricity in multiple contexts (static electricity, circuity, batteries, electromagnetism, fields, and more). Many include data collection and applied exploraion of science concepts in physics, chemistry, math, and more. Most are meant for secondary grades, but there are some good foundational energy interactives for upper elementary.

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Solar Car Engineering Challenge Unit

Grades:
6-8
Description:

Students will build a solar car using instructions provided (Sol Run). They will take measurements of their car and then test to see how fast it can travel a 3m track. After students obtain their initial results they will research how to improve the car’s...

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Learning Goal(s):
After the completion of this lesson students will be able to: • Describe how solar cars work • Accurately record and measure data • Use data to propose changes to experimental designs • Research a topic • Complete a full engineering assignment • Explain pros/cons of various prototypes • Work successfully within a group to accomplish a specific task • Brainstorm various ideas
Author:
Todd Freiboth
Estimated Activity Length:
40 min
Source:
Teach Engineering
Published:
2013
Last Updated:
2020
Intended Grade Level:
MS
Description:

A 45 minute stand-alone lesson that has students exploring how energy is used in their home, and taking data to calculate energy use and support considerations of how to conserve energy in the home.

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NGSS Disciplinary Core Idea:
Arduino Angler Design

Illuminate Me: Merging Conductive Sewing, Technology, and Solar Power

Grades:
7-12
Description:

Light up your clothing using solar power! For this unit, students will attach thin, flexible solar modules to a bike helmet and recharge NiMH rechargeable batteries for a renewable energy battery pack. The rechargeable batteries will be used to light up...

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Learning Goal(s):
1. Students will design and sew a wearable circuit using conductive thread. 2. Students will program a wearable microcontroller to light up garment with bright LEDs. 3. Students will incorporate solar power into a wearable garment project by recharging NiMH batteries for a renewable energy battery pack. 4. Students will apply knowledge of circuitry and energy transfer to maximize design.
Author:
Kristy Schneider
Estimated Activity Length:
10 hours
Source:
National Renewable Energy Laboratory NREL
Published:
2020
Last Updated:
2020
Intended Grade Level:
HS
Description:

This online resource is a quick and easy-to-use energy production calculator for grid-tied solar PV systems installed throughout the world that uses NREL scientific data. This website is used by solar photovoltaic energy installation and engineering professionals on a daily basis!

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Solar Mini House

Mini Solar Houses Unit

Grades:
4-6
Description:

In Lesson 1, the lesson focuses on understanding how the angle and orientation affect the amount of energy that is generated through use of a solar cell. Paper azimuth finders, Keva Planks, and multimeters will be used in order for students to draw...

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Learning Goal(s):
1. Students will understand how to use an Azimuth finder to determine the direction and altitude that solar modules will face. 2. Students will learn how to describe why a solar module is pitched at a particular angle. 3. Students will understand how to measure the voltage and current for an electrical energy source. 4. Students will learn how to build a circuit that will light a light bulb with a switch and without a switch. 5. Students will understand that the electricity flows through a circuit from an energy source to a load. 6. Students will understand the difference between open and closed circuits. 7. Students will understand the similarities and differences between solar cells and batteries as an energy source. 8. Students will understand how electricity flows through a circuit (from energy sources to loads) with more than one source and more than one load. 9. Students will understand how to build series and parallel circuit and the characteristics of each. 10. Students will learn to power both a light and a fan. 11. Students will learn how to find a fault in a circuit. 12. Students will understand that the electricity flows through a circuit from an energy source to a load. 13. Students will understand the difference between open and closed circuits. 14. Students will identify the causes and solutions to various complications that arise in the construction of circuits. 15. Students will use the design process to create a roof to hold an adequate number of solar modules to power an LED and a fan. 16. Students will understand how to make a geometric net (a 2D drawing that when folded creates a 3D shape) for designing a roof.
Author:
Beverly Satterwhite
Estimated Activity Length:
8 hours
Constructing Solar Panels

Solar Panel Construction, Orientation and Use Unit

Grades:
9-12
Description:

For this extended task, students will track the sun's altitude and Azimuth to determine the best position for their hand-built solar panel, learn solar cell operation basics, solar panel construction, series and parallel circuitry and basic array sizing...

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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...

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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
Estimated Activity Length:
3 hours
Basic Stamp Microprocessor

Measuring Voltage Using a Microcontroller

Grades:
9-12
Lesson Number:
1
Description:

In this lesson students will be introduced to series circuits, resistors, a photoresistor and a microcontroller. There’s a lot here, but it boils down to making a voltage divider circuit and measuring the voltage at different points. A second circuit...

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Learning Goal(s):
Students will apply Ohm’s Law. Students will use a multimeter to measure current, voltage, and resistance. Students will use a breadboard to set up a series circuit. Students will read circuit diagrams. Students will calculate times for an RC circuit to change state. Students will prove that resistors in series have an equivalent resistance equal to their individual sums. Students will program the Basic Stamp to measure voltage levels in a voltage divider and RC circuit.
Author:
Pat Blount
Estimated Activity Length:
2 hours