Solar Collector

The Sun provides a daily source of free and non-polluting energy that can be collected and converted. Concentrate sunlight using a reflective collector and explore heating and "cooking" foods and other materials.

Grades Covered: 3 through 12
Subjects Covered: Physical Science, Earth/Space Science

Curriculum topics:
  • Solar Heating
  • Radiant Energy
  • Apparent Motion of Sun
  • Reflectivity
Standards
Idea Sheets are cross-referenced to subjects listed in the Common Core, Next Generation Science Standards, and California Content Standards.
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National Standards

  • Obtain and combine information to describe that energy and fuels are derived from natural resources and their uses affect the environment.

    (Next Generation Science Standards /// Grade 4 /// Earth and Space Science /// Earth and Human Activity)

  • Make observations to provide evidence that energy can be transferred from place to place by sound, light, heat, and electric currents.

    (Next Generation Science Standards /// Grade 4 /// Physical Science /// Energy )

  • Apply scientific ideas to design, test, and refine a device that converts energy from one form to another. [Examples : electric circuits that convert electrical energy into motion energy of a vehicle, light, or sound; and, a passive solar heater that converts light into heat. Examples of constraints: materials, cost, or design time.]

    (Next Generation Science Standards /// Grade 4 /// Physical Science /// Energy )

  • Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, & utilizing energy & mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios. [Emphasis: on the conservation, recycling, & reuse of resources (such as minerals & metals) where possible, & on minimizing impacts where it is not.]

    (Next Generation Science Standards /// High School /// Earth and Space Science /// Earth and Human Activity )

  • Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.

    (Next Generation Science Standards /// High School /// Earth and Space Science /// Earth and Human Activity )

  • Design, evaluate, & refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment & biodiversity.

    (Next Generation Science Standards /// High School /// Life Science /// Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics)

  • Design, build, & refine a device that works within given constraints to convert one form of energy into another form of energy.

    (Next Generation Science Standards /// High School /// Physical Science /// Energy)

  • Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment

    (Next Generation Science Standards /// Middle School /// Earth and Space Science /// Earth and Human Activity)

  • Apply scientific principles to design, construct, & test a device that either minimizes or maximizes thermal energy transfer. [Examples: an insulated box, a solar cooker, & a Styrofoam cup.]

    (Next Generation Science Standards /// Middle School /// Physical Science /// Energy )

  • Science and Engineering Practices 1. Asking Questions and Defining Problems 2. Developing and Using Models 3. Planning and Carrying Out Investigations 4. Analyzing and Interpreting Data 5. Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking 6. Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions 7. Engaging in Argument from Evidence 8. Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information

    (Next Generation Science Standards /// Grade 3 /// Science and Engineering Practices)

  • Science and Engineering Practices 1. Asking Questions and Defining Problems 2. Developing and Using Models 3. Planning and Carrying Out Investigations 4. Analyzing and Interpreting Data 5. Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking 6. Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions 7. Engaging in Argument from Evidence 8. Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information

    (Next Generation Science Standards /// Grade 4 /// Science and Engineering Practices)

  • Science and Engineering Practices 1. Asking Questions and Defining Problems 2. Developing and Using Models 3. Planning and Carrying Out Investigations 4. Analyzing and Interpreting Data 5. Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking 6. Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions 7. Engaging in Argument from Evidence 8. Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information

    (Next Generation Science Standards /// Grade 5 /// Science and Engineering Practices)

  • Science and Engineering Practices 1. Asking Questions and Defining Problems 2. Developing and Using Models 3. Planning and Carrying Out Investigations 4. Analyzing and Interpreting Data 5. Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking 6. Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions 7. Engaging in Argument from Evidence 8. Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information

    (Next Generation Science Standards /// Middle School /// Science and Engineering Practices)

  • Science and Engineering Practices 1. Asking Questions and Defining Problems 2. Developing and Using Models 3. Planning and Carrying Out Investigations 4. Analyzing and Interpreting Data 5. Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking 6. Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions 7. Engaging in Argument from Evidence 8. Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information

    (Next Generation Science Standards /// High School /// Science and Engineering Practices)

  • 1.a. Energy comes from the sun to the Earth in the form of light.

    (CA Science /// Grade 3 /// 01. Physical Sciences /// 1. Energy and matter have multiple forms and can be changed from one form to another.)

  • 2.b. Light is reflected from mirrors and other surfaces.

    (CA Science /// Grade 3 /// 01. Physical Sciences /// 2. Light has a source and travels in a direction.)

  • 4.e. The position of the sun in the sky changes during the course of the day and from season to season.

    (CA Science /// Grade 3 /// 03. Earth Sciences /// 4. Objects in the sky move in regular and predictable patterns.)

  • 5. Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions & conducting careful investigations. As a basis for understanding this concept, and to address the content of the other strands, students will develop questions and perform investigations.

    (CA Science /// Grade 3 /// 04. Investigation and Experimentation)

  • 6. Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions & conducting careful investigations. As a basis for understanding this concept, and to address the content of the other strands, students will develop questions & perform investigations.

    (CA Science /// Grade 4 /// 04. Investigation and Experimentation)

  • 7. Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions & conducting careful investigations. As a basis for understanding this concept, and to address the content of the other strands, students will develop questions & perform investigations.

    (CA Science /// Grade 7 /// 07. Investigation and Experimentation)

  • 9. Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions & conducting careful investigations. As a basis for understanding this concept, and to address the content of the other strands, students should develop questions & perform investigations.

    (CA Science /// Grade 8 /// 01. Physical Sciences /// 9. Investigation and Experimentation)

  • 1. Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions & conducting careful investigations. As a basis for understanding this concept, & to address the content of the other strands, students should develop questions & perform investigations.

    (CA Science /// Grade 9-12 /// 05. Investigation and Experimentation)

  • 4.a. The sun is the major source of energy for phenomena on the Earth's surface, powering winds, ocean currents, and the water cycle.

    (CA Science /// Grade 6 /// 04. Energy in the Earth System /// 4. Many phenomena on the Earth's surface are affected by the transfer of energy through radiation and convection currents.)

  • 4.b. Solar energy reaches Earth through radiation, mostly in the form of visible light.

    (CA Science /// Grade 6 /// 04. Energy in the Earth System /// 4. Many phenomena on the Earth's surface are affected by the transfer of energy through radiation and convection currents.)

  • 6. Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions and conducting careful investigations. As a basis for understanding this concept and addressing the content in the other three strands, students should develop their own questions and perform investigations. Student will:

    (CA Science /// Grade 5 /// 04. Investigation and Experimentation)

  • 7. Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions and conducting careful investigations. As a basis for understanding this concept and addressing the content in the other three strands, students should develop their own questions and perform investigations. Students will:

    (CA Science /// Grade 6 /// 07. Investigation and Experimentation)


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