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Title: Solar Explorers


Summary

Students will research alternative energy sources with a focus on solar energy, looking at the UN Sustainable Development Goal 7; and then design, construct and test a solar cooker as an example of alternative energy use and compare their results with other schools.


Description

For students to develop an understanding of the importance of developing sustainable energy sources for the future.

For students to work in teams researching, planning and executing a task.

For students to understand the dynamics of working collaboratively with others at remote localities..

Students will research alternative energy sources with a focus on solar energy. They will look at the UN Sustainable Development Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all as a basis for their research and answer the question Why is this goal important?

Students will then design, construct and test a solar cooker as an example of alternative energy use and compare their results with other schools.

● Schools will enrol in the project in August/September 2017.
● All project activities will take place on the Solar Cooking forum in the iEARN Collaboration Centre.
● Students are encouraged to share photos and videos for each activity.


Facilitators

  • iEARN Australia, Australia
  • Gary Lewis, Australia
  • Rob King, Australia
  • Bob Carter, Australia
  • Virginia King, Australia
  • Kathy Bosiak, United States

Languages

English

Student Age Levels

5-11 (Primary), 12-14 (Middle)

Dates

August/September 2017: Registration -

Possible classroom activities

Outline of Activities:

For each activity your students will be expected to respond to other students on the forum.

Activity 1: Introduction
Each school will write an introduction introducing their school, their city to other participants. 

Activity 2: Research
a). Students will look at the targets for Sustainable Goal 7 and research sustainable energy sources in their area with an emphasis on solar energy. 
● Find out what energy sources are used in school, homes and businesses in your local community.
● What would be the benefits of using solar energy in your area?
● Looking at the benefits of using solar energy listed by other schools, each school creates their own summary of the main benefits of using solar energy, based on all the schools' research.
● The outcomes of this work should be posted on the appropriate place in the solar Cooking forum. 

Activity 3: Design and create a solar cooker
Students will build and design a solar cooker.
● There are many designs that can be used for a solar cooker. 
● Some design templates: http://solarcooking.org/plans/ 
● There are three main types of solar cookers- Panel Cookers, Box Cookers, Parabolic Cookers.
The goal is to design and build a solar cooker that can heat water and cook simple foods. 
Designs should be shared on the Solar cooking forum with reasons for choosing that design.
Consider –
● What size will the solar cooker be? 
● What materials will you need?
● Where will you get your materials, tools and other resources from?
● What safety precautions do you need to take during construction?

Based on their design, students build their solar cooker, recording each stage of the construction with photos to share with other participants through posting on the Solar Cooking forum.

Activity 4: Using your solar cooker
Students will carry out two tasks to test the efficiency of the solar cooker. 
1. Heating water
Using your solar cooker, heat 100 milliliters of water for 20 minutes. Record your results  and share it on the forum.
2. Cooking food
Choose a simple recipe to cook and share your results on the forum.

Note: When completing tasks 1) and 2) students should note the ambient conditions particularly ambient temperature and amount (if any) of cloud cover.
After the results from other schools and countries have been posted to the forum, compare your results with those from other schools and countries. Write some comments about the differences/similarities between the results. Give your reasons and post your comments on the forum.

Activity 5: Evaluation of your solar cooker
How can your solar cooker be improved? You might like to make some changes and repeat the tests. Some questions you could look at are:
1. Did you make any changes to your cooker during the challenges? If so, what were the changes and did they have an impact on your results?
2. Based on the experience you have gained in the tests, what is one modification you would make to your solar cooker design?
3. Based on the results of your tests, what do you think are the most important features of an efficient solar cooker? 

Share your thoughts on the forum.


Expected outcomes

For students to develop an understanding of the importance of developing sustainable energy sources for the future.

For students to work in teams researching, planning and executing a task.

For students to understand the dynamics of working collaboratively with others at remote localities.


Group contributions to others and/or the planet:

Raising awareness of sustainable energy and sharing this with their community.

SDG #7 - Affordable & Clean Energy


Curriculum area

Science, Environmental Studies