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,...

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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
Estimated Activity Length:
50 min
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
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...

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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
Solar Car Race

Collect Data...Then Compare and Contrast

Grades:
4-6
Unit:
Lesson Number:
4
Description:

Students will race different iterations of solar cars: geared and pulley-system cars using varying gear ratios. Students will have the opportunity to make predictions, record data, and explain the results centered on the selection of these different...

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Learning Goal(s):
Students will:Compare and contrast forces acting on the system by examining the results of the solar car races.Explain the mechanics of gear ratios and demonstrate the most useful ratio to use when constructing solar cars.Explain the benefits of employing a pulley-system in their car construction. Students will understand the importance of selecting measurable, specific variables to compare in their data collection process in order to make evidence-based claims.
Author:
Carol Patrick
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour
Design a 50 Year Energy Plan

Scaling up to Power Production Let’s use Data to Optimize the Performance of a Solar Cell Array

Grades:
9-12
Lesson Number:
4
Description:

Somewhat similar to the first part of the wind turbine project from Lesson 3, students are tasked with optimizing the performance of a photovoltaic system. This objective both allows students to apply the engineering-design process they absorbed in...

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Car Charger Schematic

Exploring Buck and Boost Converters

Grades:
7-12
Unit:
Lesson Number:
4
Description:

This lab uses a variety of voltage conversion devices to output 5 Volts, the requirements for a USB charger such as for a cell phone. Students will take data on these devices and calculate, graph and compare efficiencies of different devices. Devices used...

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Learning Goal(s):
1. Students will use multimeters to measure voltage and current in circuits. 2. Students will use collected data and be able to make power calculations from this data. 3. Students will also be able to calculate efficiency from their power calculations. 4. Students will be able to compare efficiencies in order to identify the circuit that is most efficient. 5. Students will be able to make circuits from a diagram and vice versa.
Pedagogy & Practice:
Author:
Brett McFarland
Relevant NGSS PE:
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
3 hours

Design and Engineer Solutions

Grades:
5-8
Lesson Number:
4
Description:

This lesson is designed to span 9 days with 50-minute sessions. The students will use a Design and Engineering Journal to guide them in the design and engineering process. In small groups they will use the research from lesson 2 to formulate solutions to...

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US DOE WInd Turbines

Variables Affecting Wind Turbine Power

Grades:
7-8
Lesson Number:
5
Description:

Now that students are familiar with how mechanical electricity generation works, they will build a wind turbine powered by a box fan. Different teams will test different turbine variables to see how the amount of electrical power is affected. After each...

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Learning Goal(s):
• Students will be able to identify and explain at least three variables that affect the efficiency of wind turbines • Students will conduct a scientific investigation to determine which wind turbine configuration will generate the most power
Author:
Craig Marais
Estimated Activity Length:
4 hours
Hot Pack

Engineering a Hot Pack

Grades:
7-8
Lesson Number:
5
Description:

Through a series of inquiry activities, students will discover the properties of the chemical reaction of dissolving CaCl 2 in water, the effect of stirring, and of adding baking soda and sodium polyacrylate crystals. Once initial data is collected,...

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Learning Goal(s):
Students will collect data to characterize a chemical reaction Students will identify the criteria and constraints of an engineering challenge. Students will design and build a hot pack that meets the criteria of the project. Students will collect data to support their proposed design. 
Author:
Melody Childers
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
5 hours
Sunlight Incident Angle

How to Measure Output of Solar Modules

Grades:
4-6
Unit:
Lesson Number:
5
Description:

Students will measure output from solar module before a load is attached and relate it to real world output. They will make these measurements using a multimeter and be able to determine the optimal angle at which their module generates a current flow....

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Learning Goal(s):
Students will demonstrate that solar modules create electricity when light strikes the module. Students will determine the optimum angle for the generation of current by a solar cell when given a light source (indoors or outdoors using the sun). Students will be able to effectively use a digital multimeter to measure current and voltage produced by a solar cell.
Pedagogy & Practice:
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:
Author:
Carol Patrick
Relevant NGSS PE:
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour