Power Up!

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SWBAT use the engineering design process to design a way to capture movement and turn it to electricity.

Big Idea

How can you create a design that turns movement into electricity?


10 minutes

Because my class had just presented traditional energy sources (Energy Resource Presentations), they had a basic understanding that even "green" renewable energy sources come at a cost, such as habitat loss or interfering with migration patterns.  I used a Google Slide Power Up! Engineering Design Challenge to show how some other engineers have addressed the problem.  The second video is there just because I really want my students to see the Soccket was invented by women.

I taught this lesson following my electricity unit, so they understood that you either need something to turn or move back and forth to generate electricity.  If you haven't discussed any of these things yet, you might want to start with Classifying Natural Resources.


20 minutes

I reminded my students that engineers don't start from scratch, they build off of the ideas of other people.  I told them their first task was to look online for inspiration from other engineers and write down what they find on Engineering Design Challenge.  I had to coach them away from wind and solar to some more novel solutions.  One student found a dance floor that creates electricity from the movements of the people dancing.


30 minutes

After looking at what other engineers have already been working on, I had my students draw three sketches in their science notebooks, and share them with a partner.  I asked them to think about what would be good about their designs, and what potential problems their designs might have. I demonstrated this with my example, the Happy Dog Electricity Generator.  Following this discussion, they could choose one design that they thought was the best to showcase by drawing a more detailed version, and writing a paragraph that addressed the following questions:

  • What is the goal of your design?
  • How does it work?
  • Why did you chose this design?
  • Why didn't you choose the other designs?

When this was done, I reminded them to edit carefully before turning in their finished labeled diagrams and paragraphs.  I assessed their work using this Power Up! Rubric.