STEM Instructional Materials

This unit explores the NGSS Middle School bundle for Engineering Design (MS-ETS1-1, MS-ETS1-2, MS-ETS1-3, MS-ETS1-4) by engaging students in a Project-Based engineering task where students develop and apply their understanding of solar energy to create a solar device which can generate electricity for people who have lost power due to a natural disaster.

Unit Overview

Grades: 6-8

Duration: 25 Sessions


  • Computers with internet access
  • Long rope (jump rope)
  • Bell
  • LabQuests (or computers with ezlink)
  • Vernier Energy Sensors
  • Vernier Variable Load
  • KidWind 2V solar panel
  • 2 wire leads with clips
  • Protractor
  • Light bulb
  • Light bulb socket or lamp
  • Materials to test variables (will depend on experiment design)
  • Clear tape
  • Ice bath
  • Ring stand
  • Different colored pieces of paper
  • Ruler
  • Lamp and 100W bulb (or LEDs)
  • Aluminum foil
  • Various materials for building (cardboard, plastic bottle and boxes, containers, etc.
  • Sunshine