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

Solar Car Student

Solar Car Challenge: Solutions Briefing

Grades:
6-8
Lesson Number:
7
Description:

Students will play around with the solar car kits to familiarize themselves with the materials in preparation for the solar car engineering challenge.

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More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
To introduce students to the problem that this project will attempt to solve: building a solar car that will go straight, far, and fast to win a race.
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:
Author:
Karen Nelson
Estimated Activity Length:
50 min
Solar Car Student

Solar Car Challenge: Redesigning Your Solution & Results of the Design Process Activity

Grades:
6-8
Lesson Number:
8
Description:

Students will play around with the solar car kits to familiarize themselves with the materials in preparation for the solar car engineering challenge.

Energy Content:
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More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
To introduce students to the problem that this project will attempt to solve: building a solar car that will go straight, far, and fast to win a race.
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:
Author:
Karen Nelson
Estimated Activity Length:
2 hours

Solar Car Engineering Challenge Unit

Grades:
6-8
Description:

Students will build a solar car using instructions provided (Sol Run). They will take measurements of their car and then test to see how fast it can travel a 3m track. After students obtain their initial results they will research how to improve the car’s...

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More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
After the completion of this lesson students will be able to: • Describe how solar cars work • Accurately record and measure data • Use data to propose changes to experimental designs • Research a topic • Complete a full engineering assignment • Explain pros/cons of various prototypes • Work successfully within a group to accomplish a specific task • Brainstorm various ideas
Author:
Todd Freiboth
Estimated Activity Length:
40 min
Solar Mobile

Solar Mobile Design Challenge Unit Plan

Grades:
6-8
Description:

This unit involves students learning about transferring solar energy to small motors, exploring the center of gravity and testing light sources (including the sun). The culminating engineering design project gives students the chance to pull...

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More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
Students will design circuits using various solar panels in order to power motors with propellers. Students will learn about solar energy transfer in order to power the motors on their solar aircraft.Students will research an aircraft and draw an outline of the aircraft onto foam board. Students will explore the concept of center of gravity. Students will test the efficiency of various light sources (incandescent, fluorescent, LED, halogen) for usage by a PV cell.Students will use their prior testing results and knowledge to engineer a solar-powered mobile. Students will work to transfer the most energy from the solar panels considering all the tested variables in order to power the fastest, most efficient mobile.Students will demonstrate and explain why their solar mobile should be chosen for the solar mobile display in the children’s museum. 
Author:
Kristy Schneider
Estimated Activity Length:
0 sec
Electric Current Induction

Wave Attenuator Unit Overview

Grades:
6-12
Description:

Through a series of learning experiences, students will experiment with the basic concepts of motion to electrical energy transformation. Students start by building a series of models that demonstrate the interactions between magnetic and electric fields....

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Learning Goal(s):
1. Students will demonstrate energy transfer through space using electromagnetic phenomena. 2. Students will design a model that demonstrates that a current-carrying wire can induce magnetism. 3. Students will define and build an electromagnet. 4. Students will demonstrate electromagnetic induction. 5. Students will describe and model the energy transfer and transformation in a wave attenuator. 6. Students will build a wave attenuator using a diagram and selected materials. 7. Students will test the model wave attenuator they built. 8. Students will investigate variables that may affect the output of an energy conversion device (wave attenuator). 9. Students will interpret data to identify which variables increase electrical output for these model wave attenuators. 10. 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:
10 hours
Electric Current Induction

Introduction to Electromagnetism

Grades:
6-12
Lesson Number:
1
Description:

Through a series of goal-oriented activities and research, students will build physical models that demonstrate the interactions between magnetism and magnetic fields as well as interactions between magnetism and electric fields. Students will be...

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More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
1. Students will demonstrate energy transfer through space using electromagnetic phenomena. 2. Students will design a model that demonstrates that a current-carrying wire can induce magnetism. 3. Students will define and build an electromagnet. 4. Students will demonstrate electromagnetic induction.
Author:
Tabatha Roderick
Estimated Activity Length:
3 hours
Wave Attenuator

Building a Tidal Wave Attenuator

Grades:
6-12
Lesson Number:
2
Description:

This lesson is designed to build upon investigations of electromagnetic energy by applying these phenomena to transfer the kinetic energy moving in waves to electricity by building a wave attenuator.

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More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
1. Students will describe and model the energy transfer and transformation in a wave attenuator. 2. Students will build a wave attenuator using a diagram and selected materials. 3. Students will test the model wave attenuator they built.
Author:
Tabatha Roderick
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...

Energy Content:
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More Details Less Details
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