Solar Mobile

Introducing the Solar Mobile Design Challenge

Grades:
6-8
Lesson Number:
1
Description:
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 real life solar aircrafts and a room-sized Solar...
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will be introduced to solar aircraft. Students will form and write questions about solar aircraft into their Engineering Notebooks setting the stage for future questions.Students will be introduced to a room-sized solar mobile and add additional questions to their engineering notebook.Students will be introduced to the engineering design scenario. 
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:
Author:
Kristy Schneider
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour
Solar Cell Manufacture

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

Grades:
7-8
Lesson Number:
4
Description:
Students will engage in guided research to explore resource acquisition, material processing, and electricity generation associated with photovoltaic cells. Opportunity for differentiation exists in the level of assistance in guiding the research, the...
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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. 
Author:
Melody Childers
Estimated Activity Length:
6 hours
Dye in Water

Developing a Model of Thermal Energy, Atoms, and Molecules

Grades:
6-8
Lesson Number:
2
Description:
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 their explanation of molecular-level structures and...
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will develop a model through collaborative inquiry to explain thermal kinetic energy and predict the outcome when heat is added to a substance. Students will build argumentation from evidence skills through collaborative sense-making and gallery walk presentations. Students will develop a model of atomic and molecular structures.  
Author:
Melody Childers
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
9 hours
Sphero SPRK+

Solar SPRK+ Electricity Fundamentals and Photovoltaics

Grades:
6-8
Unit:
Lesson Number:
4
Description:
Students work through a number of solar circuit explorations that culminate in a challenge to charge the Sphero SPRK+ devices with solar panels. In this exploration, students will investigate the requirements of various loads, working toward the voltage and...
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will determine how to create various types of circuits in order to power loads with different electric needs.Students will identify the electric needs of a Sphero charger and build a circuit needed to charge this device.
Author:
Deb Frankel
Relevant NGSS PE:
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour
WindMaterials_DSCN2143.jpg

Wind Power: A Hands on Experience

Grades:
3-8
Lesson Number:
3
Description:
This lesson challenges students to work in teams to design successful turbine blades for the “KidWind Firefly”. The firefly has an LED light that lights up when the students have designed turbine blades that spin effectively. This lesson provides students...
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Learning Goal(s):
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 at harnessing and converting the mechanical energy of the wind.
Author:
Lisa Morgan
Estimated Activity Length:
2 hours
Wave Attenuator

Testing a Tidal Wave Attenuator

Grades:
6-12
Lesson Number:
3
Description:
Students will test the efficiency of the tidal wave attenuator models that they previously built. They will determine variables on their models they can manipulate, such as wire gauge and magnet strength, and measure the effects of manipulating this variable...
Energy Content:
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Learning Goal(s):
1. Students will investigate variables that may affect the output of an energy conversion device (wave attenuator). 2. Students will interpret data to identify which variables increase electrical output for these model wave attenuators. 3. 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:
5 hours

Passive Solar Water Heating: Collecting and Reporting Data, Making Recommendations

Grades:
4-5
Lesson Number:
9
Description:
Students will explore ways that the sun can be used to heat water and the variables involved in the efficiency of using the sun to heat water for use in homes or businesses. They will determine this through taking measurements of their solar water heaters...
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will identify variables related to the sun heating water such as time of exposure, air temperature, and color of container. Student groups will design and build solar water heater containers using five-gallon water jugs. Students will design containers using color, cover material, and surround as variables. Students will predict which container and location will collect the most heat from the sun.
Author:
Eric Gronseth
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour
Solar Water Heating Experiment

Setting Up the Experiment - Solar Water Heating

Grades:
4-5
Lesson Number:
8
Description:
Students will set up the experiment that they will use to determine the amount of energy from the sun that can be used to heat water and the variables that can help the exchange of heat most effectively. They will accomplish this through setting up simple...
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will use their previous learning about observation and solar power to set up an experiment to determine the amount of heat that can be collected in water containers from the sun. Students will determine three variables that affect the jug’s absorption and trapping of energy from the sun. Students will take data measurements from these set ups in order to make evidence-based conclusions from the experiment.
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:
Author:
Eric Gronseth
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
40 min

Observing and Keeping Records

Grades:
4-5
Lesson Number:
7
Description:
Students will review basic scientific observation methods and the importance of keeping and reporting accurate observations. Teacher will discuss with students the different types of variables that they can use in order to gather data and make conclusions...
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will review scientific observations methods learned earlier and the application of those methods for the solar energy unit. Students will practice observations and data recording. Students will explain the importance of selecting useful variables from which they can collect data. Students will be prepared to implement an experiment in the classroom that they can draw conclusions from.
Pedagogy & Practice:
Author:
Eric Gronseth
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
40 min
Sources of Energy

Brainstorm Energy Source

Grades:
4-5
Lesson Number:
2
Description:
Students will individually brainstorm sources of energy. This process will take place on both an individual and on a group level, allowing for students to share ideas about their perceptions of energy. On a sheet of paper, students will write or draw...
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will begin to think about various appliances and items that they use and the energy that those items consume. Students will brainstorm ideas of energy sources without worrying about right and wrong answers. Students will create a visual reference for different types of energy resources with their classmates.
Author:
Eric Gronseth
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
40 min

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