To see descriptions of all available curriculum by grade level, click here. To download a PDF of all available units, click here.

Part 1 - Lesson 2: What is electricity and how do we use it?

Grades:
6-12
Lesson Number:
2
Description:
During this lesson students will learn about how electricity originates at an atomic level and that electricity moves through conductors and can be directed using circuits. Students will used guided reading techniques to explore informational texts and videos...
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More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
1.Students will define scientific vocabulary related to electricity.2.Students will be able to describe how electricity moves through a conductor.3.Students will draw and describe series and parallel circuits.
Author:
Jonathan Strunin
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
5 hours

Adrift in a Sea of Plastic Unit Plan

Grades:
5-8
Description:
In this unit students will investigate the phenomena of plastic trash islands floating in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. The students will work to solve the problem of plastic trash islands through the engineering and design process. Using 3D printers,...
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More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
·       Students will design 3D models using Tinkercad software.·       Students will define the problem of plastic trash islands.·       Students will describe possible solutions to the problem of plastic trash islands.·       Students will research the plastic trash problem and create google slideshows the problem and how we might fix it.·       Students will investigate different ways to build structures that both float and hold weight.·       Students will build a model of a device that could collect plastic from the ocean.·       Students will test the models they build.·       Students will communicate their results from scientific inquiry to identify factors that are important to optimizing the design of the plastic collecting device.
Author:
Jonathan Strunin
Estimated Activity Length:
10 hours

The Problem of Plastic Trash Islands

Grades:
5-8
Lesson Number:
2
Description:
This lesson is designed for 3 days, 50-minute sessions. The students will watch videos and take 2 column notes to guide independent research. The students will examine different solutions that are already being tried and experimental solutions that have not...
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More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
Students will read and watch various informational texts and resources and take structured notes to support comprehension.Students will conduct independent research on a current eventStudents will create a google slide show or other presentation and present their findings and ideas.Students will practice speaking and listening skills.
Author:
Jonathan Strunin
Estimated Activity Length:
2 hours
Puerto Rico Power

When the Grid Goes Down and Stays Down

Grades:
7-8
Lesson Number:
1
Description:
Through an examination of media published in the five months following Hurricane Maria in 2017, students will develop an understanding of the electrical grid, the vulnerabilities of a grid system, and the immediate and long-term challenges of living without...
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More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
Students will understand the general structure of an energy grid Students will develop an understanding of the living conditions in Puerto Rico after Hurricane MariaStudents will collaborate to brainstorm needs to support safety, health and comfort in a natural disaster setting.Students will identify energy resources that one might desire to have in order meet the needs they identify. 
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:
Author:
Melody Childers
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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More Details Less Details
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
Earth Sun

School Energy Hunt

Grades:
3-4
Lesson Number:
1
Description:
The purpose of this lesson is to help students understand that everything that is powered by energy comes from a source from nature. This is meant to be an introductory lesson on identifying sources of energy
Energy Content:
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More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
At the end of this lesson students will be able to list equipment in the school that is powered by energy. They will also be able to identify the various types of energy that power the equipment.
Author:
Lisa Morgan
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour
Earth Sun

Saving Lives with Solar Ovens

Grades:
3-5
Lesson Number:
4
Description:
Students will be introduced to Solar Cookers International. Students will learn about different solar cooker designs and how they function. Students will learn the pros and cons on the use of solar ovens in developing countries. Students will gain an...
Energy Content:
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More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
Students will learn about different solar cooker designs and how they function. Students will learn the customs, jobs, food and clothing of people in different countries of Africa.
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:
Author:
Lisa Morgan
Estimated Activity Length:
50 min
Earth Sun

Individual Independent Projects

Grades:
3-5
Lesson Number:
12
Description:
The purpose of this lesson is to allow students to choose an area of interest regarding solar power and research it further in a manner of their choice. Students will produce a final product to display or share at the “Salute to the Sun” culminating event at...
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More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
Students will plan, gather research materials and create a project of their choice. In doing so student will learn proper research methods (i.e., reliable sources) and how to categorize and translate information. In addition students will become comfortable and familiar presenting information to others. Lastly, students will also learn how to create a rubric for self evaluation.
Author:
Lisa Morgan
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
10 hours
Reading Concept Map

Energy Changes Forms

Grades:
3-5
Lesson Number:
3
Description:
Students read informational text about the forms of energy and energy transformation. They use a graphic organizer in the form of a concept map to take notes on details and examples. Optional – using solar beads, solicit ideas about what energy transformation...
Energy Content:
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More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
Students will understand that energy changes form. Students will be able to name different forms of energy and give examples of some of the transformations of energy that commonly occur. Students will find details and examples in informational text.
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:
Author:
Leah Gorman
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour

Building Solar Boats

Grades:
4-6
Unit:
Lesson Number:
7
Description:
Students will follow step-by-step instructions to build their solar boats. They will troubleshoot as necessary by making sure electricity flows into the motor to make the vehicles move by propeller or gears. They will be using their planned investigations...
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More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
Students will follow step-by-step instructions to build their solar boats. They will troubleshoot as necessary by making sure electricity flows into the motor to make the vehicles move by propeller or gears. Students will determine different data points that are useful in the determining the most effective design for a solar powered boat. Students will undergo the process of redesign, noting why they made changes to particular variables on their boat and noting how these changes played out.
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:
Author:
Carol Patrick
Relevant NGSS PE:
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour

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