Solar Racers!

Camps_6 - solar

“Solar Racers” introduces participants to solar technology and design by building and showcasing desktop solar cars.

Campers will explore the Grand Challenges for Engineering in the 21st Century by designing, building, and racing their very own desktop solar cars.

 

 

Solar Racer campers will experience: 

  • STEM content and skill-building;
  • Instruction in designing with Google SketchUp;
  • Problem-solving using the engineering design process;
  • A solar car race featuring vehicles their team designed;
  • Understanding how the Grand Challenges for Engineering impacts our planet;
  • Exposure to solar industry jobs and the training needed to get them; and
  • Weekly field trips and outdoor excursions.

solar races“Solar Racers” introduces participants to solar technology and design by building and showcasing desktop solar cars.  The program includes eight (8) forty-five (45) minute lesson plans with additional pull-out activities that expose students to the basics of solar energy, photovoltaic technology, electricity, and career opportunities.

 

Many thanks to: AMD; Applied Materials; EcoRise Austin; Green Ribbon Schools; Kalani Games; Sol Design Lab; and Texas Film Commission, Office of the Governor for their continued support!

SEE THE PROPOSAL WE PRESENTED AT THE 2012 DML CONFERENCE

CHAPTER 1 | Introduction to Solar Energysolar car
Objective: Students should understand the basic concept of solar energy, different types of solar energy and how it compares to other forms of energy production.

Teacher Lesson Plan (DOC)

Classroom Presentation (PPT)

CHAPTER 2 | Harnessing the Sun with Photovoltaic Energysolar cell
Objective: Students understand the basics of how photovoltaic panels work, the difference between the three common types of solar panels, and students are introduced to photovoltaic systems connected to batteries vs. connected to the utility grid.

Teacher Lesson Plan (DOC) 

Classroom Presentation (PPT)

CHAPTER 3 | Basic Electricity & Solar Orientation
Objective: Students understand the basics principles and vocabulary related to electricity; the importance of solar orientation, eliminating shade and how to use a multi-meter.

Teacher Lesson Plan (DOC) 

Classroom Presentation (PPT) 

CHAPTER 4 | The Future of Solar, Careers & Load Analysis

chapter 4

Objective: Students understand the different types of jobs in the solar industry and training needed to get them; how to measure and quantify the energy used by small appliances; measuring factors that influence the output of solar energy from a solar panel; creating and understanding electric circuits; and becoming familiar with energy load analysis tools.
Teacher Lesson Plan (DOC)

Classroom Presentation (PPT) 

CHAPTER 5 | Solar Design & Hosting the Solar Car Race

Objective: Students understand and employ the engineering design process; design and test desktop solar cars; consider the influence of aerodynamics, friction, inertia and torque; and host their own solar car race and showcase

Teacher Lesson Plan (DOC)

Classroom Presentation (PPT)

CHAPTER  6 | Race Tips, Physics and Goals

Objective: Students understand how aerodynamics, friction and alignment effect the racer; create a materials list for the following day of building the solar cars; create a basic sketch of the car with its components and labels; and investigate the race track.

Teacher Lesson Plan (DOC)

Classroom Presentation (PPT)941347_541277842577635_879745023_n

CHAPTER  7 |  Test and Build Day

Objective:  Students will finalize completion of race cars and make changes for maximum speed.

Teacher Lesson Plan (DOC)

Classroom Presentation (PPT)

CHAPTER  8 | Refine and Race Day

Objective: Students will finalize completion of race cars and make changes for maximum speed; participate in the final race; and reflect on why some race cars were more successful than others.

Teacher Lesson Plan (DOC)

Classroom Presentation (PPT)

 

Thank you to our sponsors for their participation:

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