Using Multiple Solar Modules

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Intended Grade Level(s):
Learning Goal(s):

Students will apply scientific ideas to design and test a solar powered water pump that moves water at the fastest rate. Students will experiment and build understanding of parallel and series wiring and how energy moves in these circuits. Students will record data accurately into a table.

Lesson Number:
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
3 hours
Relevant Common Core Standard(s):

Students first explore with 0.5 Volt solar cells to see whether adding cells to a circuit increases the amount of water pumped by a small pump. They are introduced to parallel and series wiring. They then design and carry out a formal experiment to test their ideas. This lesson may be used with minor modifications to fulfill Oregon’s Science Inquiry Work Sample.

Science Kit Material(s) Used:
1.5-Volt 500mA Solar Module
2-Volt, 500mA Solar Modules
3-Volt, 1A Solar Module
Kidwind Small Water Pump
Other Material(s) Used:
Attached handouts • Electrical Circuits and Currents by Barbara Somervill • Two water plastic containers (one larger) • Measuring cup w/ mL and cup fraction measurements • Electrical tape • Scissors