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Solar Power Solutions

14-18 yrs old

Climate & Environment

Math & Economics

Science

Minecraft allows for space for students to find creative solutions and problem solve. Redstone allows for users to build circuits and store energy.

avatar Submitted By: Minecraft Education

October 25, 2016

Skills

  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Critical Thinking

Learning Objectives

  • Students will build a sustained home with solar panels and in survival mode determine how much electricity is required to last through the night.
  • Determine how much energy they can keep stored.

Guiding Ideas

Mini-Lesson (whole class)
o    In Minecraft, students can model an important concept.  How does someone build a truly sustainable energy plan for their home? Science shows us that creating an opportunity to generate energy based on solar panels is definitely feasible, but what about storing that energy for the future? How long can a user store energy in panels on the roof? This solution is still not affordable for many people who are still consuming fossil fuels and other ecologically unsafe materials. How do we make this more sustainable solution feasible for the masses?

 

Extension Activities:
•    Skype in the Classroom:
Professionals in Clean Energy are a great resource and often eager to inspire students to be the next problem solvers. While it may be difficult to arrange for guest speaker, how about looking for a Skype in the Classroom expert? Students could show their skills in demonstrating clean energy solutions or they could learn about new technologies or hear about the future of energy consumption and storage from people in industry.
Making Clean Energy Affordable:
Around the world, sun power could be used to power important things for daily living. Students could create spaces that demonstrate solutions for people who might not have access to clean energy.
One idea: Small solar panels to charge cell phones or water purifiers could be built inside Minecraft with Redstone.
Future City Planning:
Reimagining a local town with solar panels to charge street lights or signage could be both informative and inspirational. Have students implement a green solution in their town through Minecraft. Teams could choose a focus or divide the town into manageable blocks.

Student Activities

Independent or cooperative group activity choices
o    Option One:
•    Have students in teams first research the issue and answer some relevant questions before opening Minecraft.
•    What are some local solutions for storing energy?
•    How affordable are clean energy solutions?
•    How long can this energy be stored?

Next, allow time for student teams to simulate one of those local solutions with Redstone in Creative mode.  Ideally teams will demonstrate different solutions.
•    Have students share their solutions in Minecraft as a team to the rest of the class.
•    They should have a light being powered with stored energy.
•    This could also be a team learning adventure in circuitry and designing.
•    At this point though, you could switch the world from Creative to Survival Teams would then test out their             solution.
•    Which team’s solution lasted longest?
•    What were some of the factors that contributed to the best solution?

Option Two:
•    What if instead of simulating what already exists, students in teams collaborated on what could be?
•    Let them find out what has already been attempted in Minecraft.
•    Student teams can present to each other on what has already been demonstrated through YouTubers or blogs.
•    In teams they can design and plan another solution.
o    Using Redstone and lessons in circuitry, students can come up with something new as a team.
•    Does this plan rely on new technologies?
•    Does this plan simulate a chemical or engineering solution?
o    The above suggested activities allow for students to collaborate and investigate what is already being attempted both in Minecraft and current technology.  Rich discussions can take place as students report out the work their teams have attempted.

Performance Expectations

Student Assessment:
•    Presentations of current practices or Minecraft solutions,
•    Research on current trends with access to clean water
•    Mathematical assessments for solar solutions could all demonstrate learning

Skills

  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Critical Thinking

External References