Racing with the Sun: Creating a Solar Car
Jun 08 2011
TeachEngineeringDigitalLibrary's picture
Source: TeachEngineering Digital Library
5
Summary Information

Keywords:

solar energy, current, voltage, photovoltaic cell, conservation of energy, Ohm's Law
Topic: 
Algebra
Geometry
Measurement
Physical Science

Target Grade (Ages):

Grade 5 (Ages 10-11)

Estimated Time Required:

3-5 hours

Diversity Indicators:

This lesson is especially appropriate for kinesthetic and visual learners.

Tab Wrapper

0
Average: 5 (3 votes)

Comments

orlando's picture

April 27, 2011 - 8:14pm

I reviewed theRacing With

I reviewed theRacing With the Sun: Creating a Solar Car lesson plan. First off, I appreciated that not only was the background section concise & informative, but the additional link toHow Stuff Works: How to Make A Solar Cell provided some very updated, current events on the topic (broken into different chapters for convenience). Most of the materials were fairly commonplace. The solar cell was the only item that would require a special purchase. I searched online and thegoing rate was approximately $5. The cost is pretty reasonable for my school budget, since the cell can be reused each year, and one would only have to purchase 4 or 5 total (one for each group). I especially appreciated that the degree of inquiry/design can vary, depending upon the teacher/student comfort level. An example of a solar car construction was provided, but students are encouraged to use their own creativity and understanding of physical concepts to create a lightweight, aerodynamic & fast car. I was happy to see that a solar car rubric file was available. However, I believe that the rubric could be better organized. It was on an Excel spreadsheet with thin columns that were not convenient for viewing. I almost missed the numerical values found on the top rows. I would alter it so that it is ready for teacher printing/photocopying and student grading. All in all, a nicely organized & fun design-based lesson, with an exciting finish to the race!
JMcCreary's picture

July 9, 2011 - 2:21am

state standards

These are not the current TEKS used in the state of texas for Science. Hopefully this will be a work in progress for your lesson plans. I am going to use the Creating a solar-powered car, and adapt it to the current standards. I was at your workshop in Austin during the Texas Regional Collaborative. Thanks for working with Texas teachers. I look forward to the updates in the near future.
JMcCreary's picture

August 3, 2011 - 8:06am

TEKS UPDATE

This website needs to be updated to the current TEKS for Science in Texas. Good stuff, but not current standards.
HemaBhramdat's picture

March 16, 2012 - 1:26pm

Great Extension for Stronger Students

While I can't imagine doing this type of activity with all of my sixth grade classes, I think it would make for a fantastic, rewarding extension for my stronger students. In classes with a wide range of ability levels, it is essential to provide meaningful work for all students. Design activities like this would be ideal for students that ate high achieving yet bored easily. I agree with another poster- the video was super easy to understand and follow.
X