Plugging into the Sun

This Plugging into the Sun unit also includes:

What's cooking? A sizzling STEM unit challenges scholars to build a solar cooker that can successfully cook an egg. The unit opens with a study of Earth's rotation, the sun's energy, and shadows. Pupils use a compass and thermometer to collect data and make observations. They research fossil fuels and solar energy and complete final presentations to display their knowledge of solar energy through multimedia and written newsletters.

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CCSS: Designed
NGSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas

  • The unit is presented as a two-hour class every other day, but could be taught daily or even in a flipped classroom
Classroom Considerations

  • Assumes prior knowledge of how to use a compass, thermometer, the Internet for research, and computer skills
  • Session 11 can only be completed on a sunny day
  • Be aware of any allergies, especially to eggs
Pros

  • Offers links to related apps for three different platforms
  • Includes many ideas to differentiate for special needs, gifted individuals, and ELLs
  • Uses a variety of student-centered assessments throughout the unit
Cons

  • None