Manipulating Design Variables on Solar Heaters

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In this activity students demonstrate the ability to evaluate competing solutions to the problem of increasing the heat energy transferred to a vial of water.

Lesson Number:
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour 20 min

Part 2 builds on part 1, asking students to design a solar heater that more effectively collects solar energy. Students are provided with various building supplies and are asked to change one variable from the standard to construct a new, more effective solar heater.

Other Material(s) Used:
2-3L room temperature water • graduated cylinders or syringes for measuring 30ml of water • colored construction paper • aluminum foil • Tape/glue • sunny day • 2 vials • 2 thermometers • 2 Styrofoam plates • 1 soup bowl to be used as solar heater mold