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

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
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Let's Build Sun Ovens

Grades:
3-5
Lesson Number:
9
Description:
The purpose of this lesson is to introduce the students to three different styles of inexpensive solar ovens. Students will work together to build a File Box oven, an auto shade/bucket oven and a “Copenhagen” style oven. Students will follow written...
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More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
Students will follow written directions and use what they have learned about necessary components of a solar oven to build three different ovens in small groups.
Author:
Lisa Morgan
Estimated Activity Length:
3 hours
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Let’s Get Cooking!

Grades:
4-5
Lesson Number:
10
Description:
The purpose of this lesson is to provide students with a hands-on experience using the sun to cook cornbread or cookies. Students will also learn to use an infrared thermometer. There is also an optional extension for the class or individual students to...
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More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
At the end of this lesson students will be able to: • Follow and prepare a recipe for cookies. • Learn to take and record oven temperature every 30 minutes using an infrared thermometer. • Evaluate the three ovens with a pros and cons list for each one after cooking. • Write one or two of their own questions. • Make suggestions for design changes.
Author:
Lisa Morgan
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
3 hours
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Build the Ultimate Solar Oven

Grades:
3-5
Lesson Number:
11
Description:
The purpose of this lesson is to take everything the students have learned and experienced up to this point and use it to build their own Ultimate Solar Oven using items found at school, home, the Dollar store or home improvement store for under 5 dollars...
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More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
At the end of this lesson students will be able to: plan, sketch, design and build a new solar oven. In addition, students will be able to cook food with their solar oven.
Pedagogy & Practice:
Author:
Lisa Morgan
Other Subjects Covered:
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

Using Multiple Solar Modules

Grades:
3-5
Lesson Number:
5
Description:
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...
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More Details Less Details
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.
Author:
Leah Gorman
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
3 hours
Solar Mini House

Mini Solar Houses Unit

Grades:
4-6
Description:
In Lesson 1, the lesson focuses on understanding how the angle and orientation affect the amount of energy that is generated through use of a solar cell. Paper azimuth finders, Keva Planks, and multimeters will be used in order for students to draw...
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More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
1. Students will understand how to use an Azimuth finder to determine the direction and altitude that solar modules will face. 2. Students will learn how to describe why a solar module is pitched at a particular angle. 3. Students will understand how to measure the voltage and current for an electrical energy source. 4. Students will learn how to build a circuit that will light a light bulb with a switch and without a switch. 5. Students will understand that the electricity flows through a circuit from an energy source to a load. 6. Students will understand the difference between open and closed circuits. 7. Students will understand the similarities and differences between solar cells and batteries as an energy source. 8. Students will understand how electricity flows through a circuit (from energy sources to loads) with more than one source and more than one load. 9. Students will understand how to build series and parallel circuit and the characteristics of each. 10. Students will learn to power both a light and a fan. 11. Students will learn how to find a fault in a circuit. 12. Students will understand that the electricity flows through a circuit from an energy source to a load. 13. Students will understand the difference between open and closed circuits. 14. Students will identify the causes and solutions to various complications that arise in the construction of circuits. 15. Students will use the design process to create a roof to hold an adequate number of solar modules to power an LED and a fan. 16. Students will understand how to make a geometric net (a 2D drawing that when folded creates a 3D shape) for designing a roof.
Author:
Beverly Satterwhite
Estimated Activity Length:
8 hours
 Foil Barge

What is Force?

Grades:
4-6
Unit:
Lesson Number:
3
Description:
Students will build a barge out of tin foil and describe the forces acting it. The barge itself is designed only with the constraints that passengers within the barge will not get wet, allowing for students to experiment with different shapes and densities as...
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More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
Students will identify the Laws of Motion and learn about the forces acting on the system. There are multiple forces acting on a boat, some of these forces include, acceleration, friction, gravity and thrust.
Author:
Carol Patrick
Other Subjects Covered:
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
Solar Boat Race

Collect Data and Compare Performance of Different Boat Designs

Grades:
4-6
Unit:
Lesson Number:
8
Description:
Students will race the solar speedboats, airboats, and surface submarines and then compare the performance results and of the various types of solar boats made by the class. Students will compare and contrast forces acting on the system by examining the...
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More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
Students will compare and contrast forces acting on the system by examining the results of the airboat, speedboat and surface submarine races. Students will collect quantitative and qualitative data points that denote the effectiveness of each boat design. Students will compare observations made during the race and draw conclusions from these observations.
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:
Author:
Carol Patrick
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
0 sec

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