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Exploring Solar Power
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Students explore the methods engineers have devised for harnessing sunlight to generate ...

Students explore the methods engineers have devised for harnessing sunlight to generate power. First, they investigate heat transfer and heat storage through the construction, testing and use of a solar oven. With a lesson focused on photovoltaic cells, students learn the concepts of energy conversion, conservation of energy, current and voltage. By constructing model solar powered cars, students see these conceptual ideas manifested in modern technology. Furthermore, the solar car project provides opportunities to explore a number of other topics, such as gear ratios and simple mechanics. Both of these design and construction projects are examples of engineering design.

Subject:
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Full Course
Unit of Study
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Lauren Powell
Rahmin Sarabi
Roni Prucz
Techtronics Program,
From Sunlight to Electric Current
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The lesson will first explore the concept of current in electrical circuits. ...

The lesson will first explore the concept of current in electrical circuits. Current will be defined as the flow of electrons. Photovoltaic (PV) cell properties will then be introduced. Generally constructed of silicon, photovoltaic cells contain a large number of electrons BUT they can be thought of as "frozen" in their natural state. A source of energy is required to "free" these electrons if we wish to create current. Light from the sun provides this energy. This will lead to the principle of "Conservation of Energy." Finally, with a basic understanding of the circuits through Ohm's law, students will see how the energy from the sun can be used to power everyday items, including vehicles. This lesson utilizes the engineering design activity of building a solar car to help students learn these concepts.

Subject:
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Rahmin Sarabi
Roni Prucz
TeachEngineering.org
Techtronics Program,
Fundamentals of Physics, I
Conditions of Use:
Remix and Share
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This course provides a thorough introduction to the principles and methods of ...

This course provides a thorough introduction to the principles and methods of physics for students who have good preparation in physics and mathematics. Emphasis is placed on problem solving and quantitative reasoning. This course covers Newtonian mechanics, special relativity, gravitation, thermodynamics, and waves.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
Yale University
Provider Set:
Open Yale Courses
Author:
Ramamurti Shankar
Gas Properties
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Pump gas molecules to a box and see what happens as you ...

Pump gas molecules to a box and see what happens as you change the volume, add or remove heat, change gravity, and more. Measure the temperature and pressure, and discover how the properties of the gas vary in relation to each other.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Simulation
Provider:
University of Colorado Boulder
Provider Set:
PhET Interactive Simulations
Author:
Barbera, Jack
Carl Wieman
Danielle Harlow
Dubson, Michael
Hjarlow, Danielle
Jack Barbera
Kathy Perkins
Koch, Linda
LeMaster, Ron
Linda Koch
Michael Dubson
Perkins, Kathy
PhET Interactive Simulations
Ron LeMaster
Wieman, Carl
The Greenhouse Effect
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How do greenhouse gases affect the climate? Explore the atmosphere during the ...

How do greenhouse gases affect the climate? Explore the atmosphere during the ice age and today. What happens when you add clouds? Change the greenhouse gas concentration and see how the temperature changes. Then compare to the effect of glass panes. Zoom in and see how light interacts with molecules. Do all atmospheric gases contribute to the greenhouse effect?

Subject:
Atmospheric Science
Material Type:
Simulation
Provider:
University of Colorado Boulder
Provider Set:
PhET Interactive Simulations
Author:
Adams, Wendy
Blanco, John
Carl Wieman
Danielle Harlow
Harlow, Danielle
John Blanco
Kathy Perkins
Kelly Lancaster
Lancaster, Kelly
LeMaster, Ron
Loeblein, Trish
National Science Foundation
Parson, Robert
Perkins, Kathy
PhET Interactive Simulations
Robert Parson
Ron LeMaster
Trish Loeblein
Wendy Adams
Wieman, Carl
William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
How a Hybrid Works
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Students investigate different forms of hybrid engines as well as briefly conclude ...

Students investigate different forms of hybrid engines as well as briefly conclude a look at the different forms of potential energy, which concludes the Research and Revise step of the legacy cycle. Students are introduced to basic circuit schematics and apply their understanding of the difference between series and parallel circuits to current research on hybrid cars.

Subject:
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering
Author:
Joel Daniel (funded by the NSF-funded Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power at the University of Minnesota)
Megan Johnston
TeachEngineering.org
VU Bioengineering RET Program,
Hybrid Vehicle Design Challenge
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Through four lessons and four hands-on associated activities, this unit provides a ...

Through four lessons and four hands-on associated activities, this unit provides a way to teach the overarching concept of energy as it relates to both kinetic and potential energy. Within these topics, students are exposed to gravitational potential, spring potential, the Carnot engine, temperature scales and simple magnets. During the module, students apply these scientific concepts to solve the following engineering challenge: "The rising price of gasoline has many effects on the US economy and the environment. You have been contracted by an engineering firm to help design a physical energy storage system for a new hybrid vehicle for Nissan. How would you go about solving this problem? What information would you consider to be important to know? You will create a small prototype of your design idea and make a sales pitch to Nissan at the end of the unit." This module is built around the Legacy Cycle, a format that incorporates findings from educational research on how people best learn. This module is written for a first-year algebra-based physics class, though it could easily be modified for conceptual physics.

Subject:
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Full Course
Unit of Study
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Joel Daniel (funded by the NSF-funded Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power at the University of Minnesota)
Megan Johnston
VU Bioengineering RET Program,
Imagine Life without Friction
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Students are introduced to the concept of inertia and its application to ...

Students are introduced to the concept of inertia and its application to a world without the force of friction acting on moving objects. When an object is in motion, friction tends to be the force that acts on this object to slow it down and eventually come to a stop. By severely limiting friction through the use of the hover pucks, students learn that the energy of one moving puck is transferred directly to another puck at rest when they collide. Students learn the concept of the conservation of energy via a "collision," and will realize that with friction, energy is converted primarily to heat to slow and stop an object in motion. In the associated activity, "The Puck Stops Here," students will investigate the frictional force of an object when different materials are placed between the object and the ground. This understanding will be used to design a new hockey puck for the National Hockey League.

Subject:
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Anne Vanderschueren
Engineering K-PhD Program,
Greg Larkin
It's Tiggerific!
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Students investigate potential energy held within springs (elastic potential energy) as part ...

Students investigate potential energy held within springs (elastic potential energy) as part of the Research and Revise step. Class begins with a video of spring shoes or bungee jumping. Then students move on into notes and problems as a group. A few questions are given as homework. The Test Your Mettle section concludes. The lesson includes a dry lab that involves pogo sticks to solidify the concepts of spring potential energy, kinetic energy and gravitational energy, as well as conservation of energy.

Subject:
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Joel Daniel (funded by the NSF-funded Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power at the University of Minnesota)
Megan Johnston
VU Bioengineering RET Program,
Kinetic and Potential Energy of Motion
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In this lesson, students are introduced to both potential energy and kinetic ...

In this lesson, students are introduced to both potential energy and kinetic energy as forms of mechanical energy. A hands-on activity demonstrates how potential energy can change into kinetic energy by swinging a pendulum, illustrating the concept of conservation of energy. Students calculate the potential energy of the pendulum and predict how fast it will travel knowing that the potential energy will convert into kinetic energy. They verify their predictions by measuring the speed of the pendulum.

Subject:
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Bailey Jones
Chris Yakacki
Denise Carlson
Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Matt Lundberg
Masses & Springs
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A realistic mass and spring laboratory. Hang masses from springs and adjust ...

A realistic mass and spring laboratory. Hang masses from springs and adjust the spring stiffness and damping. You can even slow time. Transport the lab to different planets. A chart shows the kinetic, potential, and thermal energy for each spring.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Simulation
Provider:
University of Colorado Boulder
Provider Set:
PhET Interactive Simulations
Author:
Adams, Wendy
Dubson, Michael
Excellence Center of Science and Mathematics Education at King Saud University
Kathy Perkins
Michael Dubson
National Science Foundation
O'Donnell Foundation
Perkins, Kathy
PhET
PhET Interactive Simulations
The Mortenson Family Foundation
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Wendy Adams
Masses & Springs (AR)
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A realistic mass and spring laboratory. Hang masses from springs and adjust ...

A realistic mass and spring laboratory. Hang masses from springs and adjust the spring stiffness and damping. You can even slow time. Transport the lab to different planets. A chart shows the kinetic, potential, and thermal energy for each spring.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Simulation
Provider:
University of Colorado Boulder
Provider Set:
PhET Interactive Simulations
Author:
Adams, Wendy
Dubson, Michael
Perkins, Kathy
Move It!
Conditions of Use:
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Mechanical energy is the most easily understood form of energy for students. ...

Mechanical energy is the most easily understood form of energy for students. When there is mechanical energy involved, something moves. Mechanical energy is a very important concept to understand. Engineers need to know what happens when something heavy falls from a long distance changing its potential energy into kinetic energy. Automotive engineers need to know what happens when cars crash into each other, and why they can do so much damage, even at low speeds! Our knowledge of mechanical energy is used to help design things like bridges, engines, cars, tools, parachutes, and even buildings! In this lesson, students will learn how the conservation of energy applies to impact situations such as a car crash or a falling object.

Subject:
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Engineering K-PhD Program,
Randall Evans, Dan Choi
Off the Grid (Lesson)
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Students learn and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of renewable and non-renewable ...

Students learn and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of renewable and non-renewable energy sources. They also learn about our nation's electric power grid and what it means for a residential home to be "off the grid."

Subject:
Engineering
Environmental Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Denise W. Carlson
Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,
Lauren Cooper
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Tyler Maline
Pendulum Lab
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Play with one or two pendulums and discover how the period of ...

Play with one or two pendulums and discover how the period of a simple pendulum depends on the length of the string, the mass of the pendulum bob, and the amplitude of the swing. It's easy to measure the period using the photogate timer. You can vary friction and the strength of gravity. Use the pendulum to find the value of g on planet X. Notice the anharmonic behavior at large amplitude.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Simulation
Provider:
University of Colorado Boulder
Provider Set:
PhET Interactive Simulations
Author:
Dubson, Michael
Loeblein, Trish
Michael Dubson
PhET Interactive Simulations
Trish Loeblein
Pendulum Lab (AR)
Conditions of Use:
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Play with one or two pendulums and discover how the period of ...

Play with one or two pendulums and discover how the period of a simple pendulum depends on the length of the string, the mass of the pendulum bob, and the amplitude of the swing. It's easy to measure the period using the photogate timer. You can vary friction and the strength of gravity. Use the pendulum to find the value of g on planet X. Notice the anharmonic behavior at large amplitude.

Subject:
Physics
Material Type:
Simulation
Provider:
University of Colorado Boulder
Provider Set:
PhET Interactive Simulations
Author:
Dubson, Michael
Loeblein, Trish
Power Your House with Water
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Students learn how engineers design devices that use water to generate electricity ...

Students learn how engineers design devices that use water to generate electricity by building model water turbines and measuring the resulting current produced in a motor. Student teams work through the engineering design process to build the turbines, analyze the performance of their turbines and make calculations to determine the most suitable locations to build dams.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Denise W. Carlson
Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,
Lauren Cooper
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Tyler Maline
Power Your House with Wind
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Students learn how engineers harness the energy of the wind to produce ...

Students learn how engineers harness the energy of the wind to produce power by following the engineering design process as they prototype two types of wind turbines and test to see which works best. Students also learn how engineers decide where to place wind turbines, and the advantages and disadvantages to using wind power compared to other non-renewable energy sources.

Subject:
Engineering
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Denise W. Carlson
Integrated Teaching and Learning Program,
Lauren Cooper
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Tyler Maline
The Puck Stops Here
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After learning about the concept of transfer of energy, specifically the loss ...

After learning about the concept of transfer of energy, specifically the loss of kinetic energy to friction, students get a chance to test friction. Student groups are each given a wooden block and different fabrics and weights and challenged to design the "best" puck. First the class defines what makes the "best" puck. They come to realize that the most desirable puck is the one that travels the farthest, thus the puck with the least amount of friction. In the context of hockey, the "best" puck is the one that travels farthest and loses the least kinetic energy to friction. Students then apply their knowledge of friction the energy transfer from kinetic to heat energy to design new, optimal pucks for the National Hockey League.

Subject:
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Anne Vanderschueren
Engineering K-PhD Program,
Greg Larkin
Pushing It Off a Cliff
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This lesson focuses on the conservation of energy solely between gravitational potential ...

This lesson focuses on the conservation of energy solely between gravitational potential energy and kinetic energy, moving students into the Research and Revise step. Students start out with a virtual laboratory, and then move into the notes and working of problems as a group. A few questions are given as homework. A dry lab focuses on the kinetic and potential energies found on a roller coaster concludes the lesson in the Test Your Mettle phase of the Legacy Cycle.

Subject:
Engineering
Physics
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
TeachEngineering
Provider Set:
TeachEngineering NGSS Aligned Resources
Author:
Joel Daniel (funded by the NSF-funded Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power at the University of Minnesota)
Megan Johnston
VU Bioengineering RET Program,