June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
Pre-College Engineering Education
With the introduction of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), many teachers are looking for ways to bring engineering design into their classroom. A teacher-developed unit on solar energy and human sustainability was created around a portable solar thermal water heater built by college students. The 8-day unit meets several NGSS performance expectations at the high school level, including engineering design. Students first learn about the greenhouse effect, solar radiation, and climate change. Next, they learn about the fundamentals of solar energy and how a solar thermal water heater works. In either a hands-on lab or a demonstration, students see the operation of a solar thermal water heater. Finally, students are posed with a design challenge: they must create their own thermal panel using an assortment of available materials. Students must think about material properties as they go through the engineering design process to define the problem, develop solutions, and optimize their thermal panel. The lesson also includes an introductory lesson on engineering design for students and teachers who are new to the process. In addition, the use of a solar thermal water heater exposes students to technology that is often not part of a traditional science curriculum.
Marti, E. J., & Valdez, J. (2019, June), An NGSS-Aligned Engineering Design Lesson on Solar Energy and Human Sustainability (Resource Exchange) Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/32080
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