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

Car Charger Schematic

Phone Charger Efficiency

Grades:
7-12
Unit:
Lesson Number:
3
Description:
This is part of the Off the Grid Unit. In this lesson students will explore the concept of efficiency , and how to take data in order to calculate the efficiency of various cell phone or USB charging circuits. They will complete this process by using a...
+
-
More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
1. Students will use multimeters to measure voltage and current in circuits. 2. Students will use collected data and be able to make power calculations from this data. 3. Students will also be able to calculate efficiency from their power calculations. 4. Students will be able to compare efficiencies in order to identify the circuit that is most efficient. 5. Students will be able to make circuits from a diagram and vice versa.
Pedagogy & Practice:
Author:
Brett McFarland
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
2 hours
Car Charger Schematic

Exploring Buck and Boost Converters

Grades:
7-12
Unit:
Lesson Number:
4
Description:
This lab uses a variety of voltage conversion devices to output 5 Volts, the requirements for a USB charger such as for a cell phone. Students will take data on these devices and calculate, graph and compare efficiencies of different devices. Devices used in...
+
-
More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
1. Students will use multimeters to measure voltage and current in circuits. 2. Students will use collected data and be able to make power calculations from this data. 3. Students will also be able to calculate efficiency from their power calculations. 4. Students will be able to compare efficiencies in order to identify the circuit that is most efficient. 5. Students will be able to make circuits from a diagram and vice versa.
Pedagogy & Practice:
Author:
Brett McFarland
Relevant NGSS PE:
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
3 hours
Car Charger Schematic

DC to AC to DC Efficiency

Grades:
7-12
Unit:
Lesson Number:
5
Description:
This is part of the Off the Grid Unit. This lesson will continue to deal with efficiency of USB charging devices, but this time we will be using an inverter in order to create AC voltage from a battery pack, and then use a standard AC charger (what you would...
Energy Content:
+
-
More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
1. Students will use multimeters to measure voltage and current in circuits. 2. Students will use collected data and be able to make power calculations from this data. 3. Students will also be able to calculate efficiency from their power calculations. 4. Students will be able to compare efficiencies in order to identify the circuit that is most efficient. 5. Students will be able to make circuits from a diagram and vice versa. 6. Students will know what an inverter is and what it does.
Pedagogy & Practice:
Author:
Brett McFarland
Relevant NGSS PE:
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
3 hours
BioLite

Biolite - Fire to Phone Charging

Grades:
7-12
Unit:
Lesson Number:
6
Description:
This is the 6 th part in the Off the Grid Unit. This lesson continues to look at the efficiency of USB charging devices, but this time we will be using a commercially available camping stove that uses heat to create electricity in order to charge a phone...
+
-
More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
1. Students will use thermometers and a stopwatch to calculate power. 2. Students will use collected data and be able to make power calculations from this data. 3. Students will also be able to calculate efficiency from their power calculations. 4. Students will be able to compare efficiencies to other circuits tested in this unit. 5. Students will know what the Peltier Junction does.
Author:
Brett McFarland
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour
Car Charger Schematic

Designing a Solar Phone Charger

Grades:
7-12
Unit:
Lesson Number:
7
Description:
This is the culminating activity for the unit “Off the Grid.” Students will be given some restricted parameters around which to design a solar powered battery operated phone (or other USB device) charger . They will charge the AA battery packs that have been...
+
-
More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
1. Students will be able to design a device that can charge a phone with 4 hours of sun a day. 2. Students will use collected data and be able to support their design – i.e. the data will show that the unit will produce enough energy to charge a phone given it receives 4 hours of sun a day. 3. Students will also be able to calculate efficiency from their power calculations. 4. Students will be able to compare efficiencies of their circuit to others tested in this unit. 5. Students can calculate how much energy 4 hours of sunlight can produce on the solar modules they will use.
Pedagogy & Practice:
Author:
Brett McFarland
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
5 hours
Sun in Space

Our Place in Space: Cosmic Rays

Grades:
3-5
Lesson Number:
1
Description:
NOTE: SUN PHOTOMETER SUMULATOR AT CAS.HAMPTONU.EDU SEEMS TO BE NO LONGER AVAILABLE. Using a map of school buildings, students will pick four areas to monitor over the year using wireless weather stations and the Solar Power Meter. In a following lesson,...
+
-
More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
Students will learn how the sun affects their school by measuring the temperature at different locations around the building in the fall, winter, and spring. They will learn how to measure solar energy and look for trends in temperature and solar power over the year. These trends will then be used to investigate how energy reaches Earth from the Sun.
Author:
Jamie Repasky
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
3 hours
Sun in Space

Our Place in Space: Cosmic Ray Detector

Grades:
3-5
Lesson Number:
2
Description:
The students will be introduced to solar radiation with an activity centered on using a cloud chamber to visualize cosmic rays.
+
-
More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
• Students will discuss how energy from the sun is transmitted in a variety of forms that perform different amounts of work. • Students will identify multiple pieces of evidence that demonstrate energy being transmitted from the sun.
Author:
Jamie Repasky
Relevant NGSS PE:
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour
Sun in Space

Our Place in Space: Tracking the Earth's Path Around the Sun

Grades:
1-3
Lesson Number:
3
Description:
During sessions in October, January, and April we will discuss observations about the weather during that season (temperature, length of day, precipitation) and explore how this relates to the Earth’s movement around the Sun. The lesson series will start with...
+
-
More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
Students will be able describe how the Earth orbits the Sun and how the tilt of the planet creates the seasons by recording the ‘Sun’s path’ in our sky in the fall, winter, and spring.
Author:
Jamie Repasky
Relevant NGSS PE:
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
6 hours
Solar Circuit

How the Amount of Light Affects a Solar Cell

Grades:
6-8
Unit:
Lesson Number:
1
Description:
Students will cover portions of a solar cell and measure the output with a multimeter. They will compare and contrast the outputs of different percentages shaded and different configurations using the same percentage shaded.
+
-
More Details Less Details
Author:
Todd Freiboth
Estimated Activity Length:
40 min
Solar Circuit

How Light Intensity Affects Solar Cell Output

Grades:
6-8
Unit:
Lesson Number:
2
Description:
Students will expose solar cells to a light source from different distances and measure the output with a multimeter. They will compare and contrast the outputs that the different distances produce.
+
-
More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
After the completion of this lab, students will be able to describe how the light intensity affects solar cell output, have practiced using a multimeter, and have analyzed collected data.
Author:
Todd Freiboth
Estimated Activity Length:
40 min