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Concepts

• Inquiry and Science Process

• Energy and Energy Transfer

• Forces and Motion

• Earth Science

• Engineering, Art, and Design

• Using Basic Tools

• Collecting and Interpreting Data

Objectives

At the end of the lesson, students will:

• Know the fundamental aspects of a solar panel and

understand how placement and orientation affect its

power output

• Be able to use the scientific method to isolate and

adjust variables in a solar powered fountain

• Understand power measurement and energy

concepts, using a small water pump

• Be able to use basic engineering, art and design skills

to create a one-of-a-kind solar fountain

Step 1: Organize Materials

You will need:

• Scissor

• Water

• Towel

• Lamp (if you do not have good sunlight)

• High wattage incandescent bulb (100 watts or

higher)

• Compact fluorescent bulb (optional)

You will need to supply the following materials:

• LED bulb (optional)

• Ruler

• Protractor

• Color acetate sheets (optional)

• Alternative fountain building material such as

plastic bottles, large basins for water, more

plasticine, straws, etc.

Step 2: Affix the Pump

Attach the pump to the middle of the tray using small pieces of plasticine.

Step 3: Make a Tube Adapter

Cut 1inch off the medium tubing and attach it to the nozzle on the pump. The fit should be snug.

Step 4: Attach Pump to Solar Panel

Red wires to red, black to black.

Step 5: Water Pump and Solar Panel Test

Turn the light on, and adjust the distance of the solar panel until the pump pushes water out of the tube. Experiment using different tubing to see how the diameter affects the fountain.

Note: If the pump doesn't immediately work, try using a stronger light source and double check that the wires are connected correctly. If necessary, connect the pump to a 9V battery to give it a jumpstart, by connecting the red wire of the pump to the positive lead of the battery and black to the negative (sometimes older pumps just get stuck!). If all else fails, try a new pump!

What are the variables? For the solar panel? The water pump?

Step 6: Innovate and Decorate!

What will you create?

Get your own kit, or find more about the Solar Fountain here!

About This Instructable

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Bio: Renewable energy education is our mission! REcharge Labs provides curriculum, workshops, and hands-on experiment kits for educators and their students. rechargelabs.org
More by REchargeLabs:Solar Rover Solar Fountain Kit Wind Controlled Music Box 
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