The Solar Carnival project is based on the ingredients of the Solar Cell Classroom Set. plus a few accessories for water features. The idea is to provide students a project they can be creative with and apply their new skills, after conducting several solar cell explorations. The solar cells, motors, fans, wheels, buzzers (etc) in the Classroom Set, can be recaptured at the end of the project, for use with next year’s class.
a complete guide, including project guides for the various Rides, component guides, Tips for Solar Cell Circuit Exploration, plus additional tips on how to introduce to your class.
There are several ways to introduce this to your class, including creating a footprint (example:a piece of plywood), where the different rides will come together. Instructions for the different RIDES have been separated into their own documents, along with tips for building, and exploring solar cell circuits… and posted on a SOLAR CARNIVAL STUDENT PAGE. These documents have been post here so that you can share this page with your class.
FOR ALL AGES…
The Solar Carnival project can be introduced to a wide range of ages, with some adjustment. For example, the younger ages can work on Rides like the Whirlygig and Egg Beater, while older students can challenge themselves using gears to design Ferris Wheel and Merry-Go-Round Rides.
The Video below is designed as a way to introduce the project to your class. ‘Student Intro’.
This video below shows some examples of Solar Schoolhouse Carnival ‘Rides’ moving in the sun. Sorry, no narrative here. Just some visuals of Carnival Rids in action. Note: yours will be better looking! [filmed on 6.30.2017 at Solar Schoolhouse in Sebastopol, CA] This video is also posted on the Student page, for students to view and try to decipher what is happening, to help in their own creations.
SOLAR CARNIVAL PROJECT IN ACTION…[summer 2017]
[by Wilda Kier] Solar Carnival was the theme for 5 consecutive days at iWONDER STEM TECH camp. Students the ages of 9 – 14 worked on individual or team solar projects for about 3 hours a day from Monday to Thursday with Friday being the day of completion and presentation party. [Wilda shares her tips for success with this project]….
[below: scenes from Solar Carnival Project, Summer 2017, iStem, So California]
SOLAR CARNIVAL - RIDE GUIDESDownloadable instructions for building various Solar Carnvial Rides. Rides utilize the small 0.5V*400mA solar cells found in the Solar Cell Classroom Set from Solar Schoolhouse. You can also power these rides with other solar cells that you have. You don' t have to use these instructions. Create another way to build, or read the instructions and do it a different, better way. If it seems too complicated, try to make it simpler. Good luck! [CLICK on the name of the ride to download a PDF file of the instructions. It should open in your browser. ] Instructions are 1-4 pages long.
|WHIRLYGIG Make your own whirling disc ride with a CD, a DC motor and one or more 0.5v solar cells. The image on the right shows just one way to make the basic structure. Experiment with designing your own Whirlygig, and feel free to make people to ride on the disc.
|EGG BEATER Use one or more DC motors with blue fans and solar cells to create the world famous Egg Beater! Design and build a structure to hold the motor/fan sets in a variety of directions.
|CAROUSEL - MERRY-GO-ROUND Make your own model merry-go-round, and power it with the universal motor mount and a one or more 0.5 volt solar cells.
|FERRIS WHEEL Make your own model Ferris Wheel, and power it with the universal motor mount and one or more 0.5 volt solar cells.
|SWING Make your own model swinging ride, and power it with the hobby motor and a one or more 0.5 volt solar cells.
|ROCKET Make your own model rocket ride, and power it with the hobby motor and 0.5 volt solar cells.
|HUMAN CANNONBALL A small 5volt DC fan, normally used to cool a computer, is the engine that makes this ride fly. The human cannonball is a Carnival feature that originated in the late 1800s at PT Barnum Carnival. In this model, you’ll use a ping pong (with a smiley face perhaps?) to represent the human.
|BOAT Pumping water with solar electricity helps show the dynamic way in which solar cells interact with sunshine. Shading cells or turning them away from the sun results in an immediate reaction in the flowing water. The Solar Power Boat Ride uses a small DC (direct current) pump designed for use with solar cells (a DC voltage source).
|WATER SLIDE The Solar Powered Water Slide uses a small DC (direct current) pump designed for use with solar cells (also DC). The idea is to pump water UP, then let it come back down in a “slide”.
|HONK THE CLOWN Press the lever on the box switch to close the circuit and make the clown honk!
|DJ - MUSIC Music livens up any situation, and a Solar Carnival is a lively place! As designer of the DJ station for the Solar Carnival, your first job is to create a solar array that will power the AM/FM radio found in the Solar Cell Classroom Set.
SOLAR CARNIVAL - TIP SHEETSDownloadable instructions for help with building various elements or structures that can be used with the Solar Carnival Rides. Instructions are 1-4 pages long. You don' t have to use these instructions. Create another way to build, or read the instructions and do it a different, better way. If it seems too complicated, try to make it simpler. Good luck! [CLICK on the name of the ride to download a PDF file of the instructions. It should open in your browser. ]
|BOX SWITCH: This switch can turn off power for an entire series string of 0.5 volt solar cells. This switch works best for rides that are OFF most of the time
|TIPS FOR BUILDING SOLAR CIRCUITS
|CIRCLE CUTTING GUIDE: There are many ways to draw a circle. You can put a jar or a can on a piece of cardboard, and draw around the outside of it. If you want a circle of a specific size, you can use a compass to draw it. If you don’t have those things, use the circle on this page as a template. Just cut it out, use glue stick to fix it on a piece of cardboard, and trace around it. The inner or outer circles will work for a Ferris Wheel, a Merry-Go-Round, Rocketship Ride or Swing Rides.
|DIMMER SWITCH: This type of switch can reduce the power delivered from 0.5 volt solar cells without totally turning off the current. An opaque flap covers a portion of the cell. The more of the cell that’s covered, the less power is provided.
|TUBE MAKING GUIDE: Many Solar Carnival rides use cardboard tubes to hold the motors. The tube in an aluminum foil package works well for this, but you can also make your own tube with a cereal box and tape.
|UNIVERSAL MOTOR BLOCK: This simple motor and gear mounting system can be used to power several Solar Carnival rides!