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 3: Home Energy Audit

Grades:
6-12
Lesson Number:
3
Description:
During this lesson, students will focus on where energy is used within their homes, how energy consumption is calculated, and how energy consumption can be reduced. Students will conduct a home energy audit and determine multiple ways to reduce energy...
+
-
More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
1.Students will identify all ways that energy is consumed within their homes.2.Students will perform an energy audit of their home and calculate the amount of energy used by each electronic device and appliances.3.Students will create a spreadsheet demonstrating the electricity required to operate each electronic device and appliance, along with a summary of finding that clearly identifies how energy consumption can be reduced within their home.4.Students will explore various ways to reduce energy (goal is 30% reduction).5.Students will propose a variety of energy reduction plans and present those options to their families for discussion.6.After discussion with their families, students will itemize the agreed upon plan and identify specific actions that result in quantifiable outcomes that will implemented to reduce energy consumption by their families.
Author:
Jonathan Strunin
Estimated Activity Length:
4 hours

Part 2 - Lesson 1: Renewable Energy Panel

Grades:
6-12
Lesson Number:
4
Description:
Students will meet with local planners or other available energy experts to discuss public policy regarding the use of wind turbines and solar arrays to generate electricity. Students develop questions for a panel of professionals regarding considerations...
+
-
More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
1.Students will gain background information regarding the limitations of having and wind and solar generating infrastructure within city and county limits, including environmental, aesthetic, and cultural considerations. 2.Students will compile criteria for placement of wind and solar energy sources.
Author:
Jonathan Strunin
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour

Part 2 - Lesson 2: Wind Energy

Grades:
6-12
Lesson Number:
5
Description:
Students will learn about wind and how wind varies across geographies. Students will use Vernier Wind Turbine kits or homemade wind turbines to experiment with blade angles and wind speed. During experimentation, students will collect data as blade angles...
+
-
More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
1.Students will conduct an experiment where blade angles are the variable and wind speed is constant.2.Students will conduct an experiment where blade angles are constant and wind speed varies.3.Students will collect and analyze data to provide a conclusion to the questions: What is the optimal blade angle for generating the most energy? What is the optimal wind speed for generating the most energy?4.Students will research prevailing winds and use a provided map of their region to indicate wind speed and direction.5.Students will propose locations for wind farms based on optimal energy generation and zoning restrictions.6.Based on their proposals, students will determine a range of potential kilowatt generation from wind power.
Author:
Jonathan Strunin
Estimated Activity Length:
10 hours

Part 2 - Lesson 3: Solar Energy

Grades:
6-12
Lesson Number:
6
Description:
Students will work with local government staff or another local energy professional to propose a way to create enough solar power energy to supply the annual energy needs for a real building. Students will be provided with on-site options, and will evaluate...
+
-
More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
1.Students will conduct an experiment to determine how electrical output changes as solar panels as the azimuth and tilts are incrementally changed.2.Students will conduct an experiment to determine how electrical output changes as solar panels are shaded.3.Students will work with the staff from your city or town to calculate the amount of potential electrical energy that can be collected from solar panels based upon the location and size of the system.4.Students will use existing solar data to determine the number of solar panels required to power the building in question.
Author:
Jonathan Strunin
Estimated Activity Length:
6 hours

Part 3 – Lesson 1: A Plan for Renewable Energy Goals

Grades:
6-12
Lesson Number:
7
Description:
Students will utilize their home energy audits from Part 1, the information they gathered from the wind and solar assessments in Part 2, and the knowledge they gained from the solar project in Part 2 to devise a plan for your city or town to meet renewable...
+
-
More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
1.Students will utilize previously acquired information about energy needs to create a renewable energy proposal for their city or town.2.Students will perform a solar energy audit on their homes and use class averages to calculate the amount of renewable energy that can be generated on residential properties.3.Students will assess where commercial and local government solar projects can occur within the city or town to meet the energy needs for non-residential consumers.4.Students will determine potential locations for larger scale wind and solar farms to augment the remaining energy needs of the community.5.Students will prepare a comprehensive renewable energy plan that totals the calculations for potential residential, commercial, and agency renewable energy generation.6.Students will prepare a brief PowerPoint presentation that summarizes their comprehensive plans that will be presented to a panel of elected officials or local experts/stakeholders.
Author:
Jonathan Strunin
Estimated Activity Length:
4 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,...
+
-
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

TinkerCAD: Introduction to 3D Printing

Grades:
5-8
Lesson Number:
1
Description:
This lesson is designed to span 5 days with 50-minute sections. After the introduction day, each day the students work toward mastery on the TinkerCAD tutorial online to learn how to create printable 3D models. At the end of the 4 days the students will have...
+
-
More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
Students will complete several computer aligned design tutorials, lessons, and one project to fully understand and implement unique 3D printed designs.
Author:
Jonathan Strunin
Estimated Activity Length:
4 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...
+
-
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

Engineering 101

Grades:
5-8
Lesson Number:
3
Description:
This lesson is designed for 3, 50-minute sessions. The students will engage in multiple mini-engineering challenges to develop their understanding of structures and how to build models. The students will also learn to use the 3D pens to create a 3D object.
+
-
More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
·       Students will understand some basics of engineering.·       Students will become familiar with 3D pens and how to use them.
Author:
Jonathan Strunin
Estimated Activity Length:
2 hours

Design and Engineer Solutions

Grades:
5-8
Lesson Number:
4
Description:
This lesson is designed to span 9 days with 50-minute sessions. The students will use a Design and Engineering Journal to guide them in the design and engineering process. In small groups they will use the research from lesson 2 to formulate solutions to the...
+
-
More Details Less Details