A Solar Energy Race!

Posted by Allyson Greene at 3/15/2010 1:35:00 PM

Design Process

The Engineering Design Process

Mrs. Quinzio’s class put together their knowledge of solar energy and the engineering design process to see which group could melt an ice cube in record time! Using background knowledge of energy and insulation, students had to recreate solar energy and attempt to melt an ice cube within 10 minutes. After this time had elapsed, we used a graduated cylinder to measure how much water melted from the ice cube. The winning group had 12 mL of water melt from their ice cube! Way to go solar energy racers! (In fact, some of our conversation after the race was over related how engineers could use the sun’s energy to heat a home.)

Wow! We have excellent engineers in this class! Check out the pictures below which show these 3rd graders in action from the imagining stage to the planning stage to the create stage to the improve stage, back to the planning stage, etc., etc., etc.!


Students plan their ideas after they have imagined what they would like to design.


Some more excellent engineering.


Some serious engineering!


Let’s build it this way…..


Trying to use the lights in the room as well for added heat!


Shaking around to try to speed up the melting process! What fun!


With good teamwork, these students had the most melting of an ice cube…12 mL worth of water! Excellent engineering!