(Minneapolis, MN) July 21, 2016 – Teaching children, especially young children, about solar energy can seem difficult, but it is not when you have hands-on activities to engage them. To help educators and parents demonstrate solar energy concepts, REcharge Labs is expanding its offerings to include two new activity sets. The Solar Cork Boat and the Solar Scavenger Hunt are both available as individual kits and class packs.
“Our kits turn something as abstract as solar energy into a consumable idea,” said Asia Ward, Co-Director of REcharge Labs. “They help students learn basic circuitry, engineering design and problem-solving all while they learn about renewable energy sources.”
The Solar Cork Boat, which made its debut at the Bay Area Maker Faire in May, demonstrates how solar energy can be used to do work, such as to make paddles spin to propel a boat in water. While building the cork boat, students in grades 2-12 will learn about basic solar circuitry as they connect the boat’s motor to the solar panel. Students will then use simple engineering design to build the boat’s paddles, attach them to the boat and make it move through the water. The Solar Cork Boat Class Pack comes with materials for five Solar Cork Boats, making it perfect for group work.
Recommended for students in grades 4-12, the Solar Scavenger Hunt helps students explore which light sources and conditions generate the most solar power. Using the kit, students test various light sources to determine which generate the most solar power. Students will learn how to gather data, measure solar power output and discuss the different variables that influence output such as shade, temperature and more. The kit comes with a multimeter, a solar panel and different light sources for students to test, and students are highly encouraged to explore and collect readings for other light sources around them. The Solar Scavenger Hunt Class Pack includes five Solar Scavenger Hunt sets.
Both the Solar Cork Boat and the Solar Scavenger Hunt kits are built for repeated use, making it possible to reuse them for multiple lessons, classes and school years. When developing a wind or solar renewable energy kit, REcharge Labs works with a network of national educators to test the activities in a variety of educational settings. The included activity guides are aligned with national standards, and are scaffolded, making them flexible for multiple age groups. The kits are the newest addition to the REcharge Labs renewable energy kits line.
To learn more about the kits or to purchase them for your classroom or home, visit rechargelabs.org/store.
About REcharge Labs
REcharge Labs generates resources for learners to creatively explore wind and solar power. REcharge Labs seeks to engage and inspire today’s students to become the innovative renewable energy leaders of tomorrow by offering effective hands-on learning activities and kits, teacher professional development, online engineering design challenges, and curricula. REcharge Labs also provides community outreach to partnering companies, energy developers, museums, state agencies, and more. For more information, visit rechargelabs.org.