Students learn how to build simple piezoelectric generators to power LEDs. To ...

Students learn how to build simple piezoelectric generators to power LEDs. To do this, they incorporate into a circuit a piezoelectric element that converts movements they make (mechanical energy) into electrical energy, which is stored in a capacitor (short-term battery). Once enough energy is stored, they flip a switch to light up an LED. Students also learn how much (surprisingly little) energy can be converted using the current state of technology for piezoelectric materials.

Students design, build and test reflectors to measure the effect of solar ...

Students design, build and test reflectors to measure the effect of solar reflectance on the efficiency of solar PV panels. They use a small PV panel, a multimeter, cardboard and foil to build and test their reflectors in preparation for a class competition. Then they graph and discuss their results with the class. Complete this activity as part of the Photovoltaic Efficiency unit and in conjunction with the Concentrated Solar Power lesson.

William Surles, Abigail Watrous, Malinda Schaefer Zarske, Jack Baum, Stephen Johnson (This high school curriculum was originally created as a class project by engineering students in a Building Systems Program course at CU-Boulder.)

Students examine how the power output of a photovoltaic (PV) solar panel ...

Students examine how the power output of a photovoltaic (PV) solar panel is affected by temperature changes. Using a 100-watt lamp and a small PV panel connected to a digital multimeter, teams vary the temperature of the panel and record the resulting voltage output. They plot the panel's power output and calculate the panel's temperature coefficient.

William Surles, Jack Baum Abby Watrous, Stephen Johnson, Eszter Horanyi, Malinda Schaefer Zarske (This high school curriculum was originally created as a class project by engineering students in a Building Systems Program course at CU-Boulder.)

Students explore the basics of DC circuits, analyzing the light from light ...

Students explore the basics of DC circuits, analyzing the light from light bulbs when connected in series and parallel circuits. Ohm's law and the equation for power dissipated by a circuit are the two primary equations used to explore circuits connected in series and parallel. Students measure and see the effect of power dissipation from the light bulbs. Kirchhoff's voltage law is used to show how two resistor elements add in series, while Kirchhoff's current law is used to explain how two resistor elements add when in parallel. Students also learn how electrical engineers apply this knowledge to solve problems. Power dissipation is particularly important with the introduction of LED bulbs and claims of energy efficiency, and understanding how power dissipation is calculated helps when evaluating these types of claims. This activity is designed to introduce students to the concepts needed to understand how circuits can be reduced algebraically.

This activity (on page 3 of the PDF) is a full inquiry ...

This activity (on page 3 of the PDF) is a full inquiry investigation into conductivity. Learners will harness the surprising electricity of fruit when they create a battery out of a lemon stuck with copper and zinc nails. Wiring the nails to a volt meter starts the experimenting stage, trying different wiring connections, different fruit and even making a series of fruit and veggie batteries to make more power. Relates to linked video, DragonflyTV GPS: Body Electricity.

Students examine how the orientation of a photovoltaic (PV) panel relative to ...

Students examine how the orientation of a photovoltaic (PV) panel relative to the sun affects the efficiency of the panel. Using sunshine (or a lamp) and a small PV panel connected to a digital multimeter, students vary the angle of the solar panel, record the resulting current output on a worksheet, and plot their experimental results.

William Surles, Jack Baum, Stephen Johnson, Abby Watrous, Eszter Horanyi, Malinda Schaefer Zarske (This high school curriculum was originally created as a class project by engineering students in a Building Systems Program course at CU-Boulder.)

Student teams measure voltage and current in order to determine the power ...

Student teams measure voltage and current in order to determine the power output of a photovoltaic (PV) panel. They vary the resistance in a simple circuit connected to the panel to demonstrate the effects on voltage, current, and power output. After collecting data, they calculate power for each resistance setting, creating a graph of current vs. voltage, and indentifying the maximum power point.

Stephen Johnson, William Surles, Jack Baum, Abby Watrous, Eszter Horanyi, Malinda Schaefer Zarske (This high school curriculum was originally created as a class project by engineering students in a Building Systems Program course at CU-Boulder.)

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.

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.

In this activity, learners apply Ohmäóťs Law to construct voltage divider circuits. ...

In this activity, learners apply Ohmäóťs Law to construct voltage divider circuits. Learners discover how to read resistor codes and calculate resistor values. Using breadboards, learners build voltage dividers and predict and measure output voltage values. Learners are given the electrical requirements for an LED, and are then challenged to design and verify a voltage divider circuit to illuminate it.

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