Powered and Pumped Up
Engineering, Math, Physics, Science
3D Printer, Laser Cutter/Engraver, Vinyl Cutter/Printer
Description: During this project, students work in teams to design and test a solar concentrator to increase the energy production of a solar cell. Throughout the project, students explore energy storage, energy conversion, and alternative energy sources. This project is divided into six sections and is based on NASA Glenn’s Powered and Pumped Up design challenge. This project takes approximately 20 hours to complete.
Distance Learning: This project does not include a distance learning option and requires a 3D printer to complete, with the option of also using a laser cutter/engraver and vinyl cutter/printer.
Standards: This project aligns to Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts, Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, Next Generation Science Standards, International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Standards, and Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for sixth grade through twelfth grade.
21st Century Skills: Critical Thinking, Creativity, Collaboration, Communication, Flexibility, Information Literacy
Related Industries: Energy, Aerospace
Plan and brainstorm ideas as a team.
Describe how meaning is embedded in logos and badges.
Recognize why identity and team building are important to NASA.
Create a computer-aided design of a mission badge.
Use and share makerspace equipment safely.
Give examples of alternative energy sources and identify their advantages and disadvantages.
Assess if a particular alternative energy source could be used for energy on Mars.
Describe energy conversion and recognize that energy loss occurs with energy conversion.
Compute potential and kinetic energy.
Demonstrate how a solar cell operates.
Demonstrate how distance and interference impact solar cell performance.
Use mirrors to illustrate the relationship between angle of incidence and angle of reflection.
Design a solar concentrator and determine the improvement in solar cell performance.
Use the engineering design process and recognize the importance of iteration.
Determine the efficiency of a solar-powered water pump.
Recognize that potential energy provides an energy storage opportunity.
Use a solar-powered water pump to develop a pump performance curve.
Show the trade-offs between head and capacity.
Recognize how kinetic energy can be recovered from stored potential energy.
Determine the distance a horizontal jet of water travels before gravity causes it to hit the floor.
Relate velocity and kinetic energy.