Solar Powered (B.E.A.M) Bots: Make your own solar powered robot to follow the sun! Creative Commons, Attribution + Noncommercial + ShareAlike (BY-NC-SA)
Authors: Eugenides Foundation
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This challenge introduces in the field of electrical engineering. With robots powered by solar panels, the students will engage in an integrated application of photovoltaics. In the robots as energy storage, capacitors are used which after being charged by the panels give their energy to the load through an appropriate electronic circuit. By experimentation, students will understand in practice how photovoltaic panels work, how they store energy that they supply to the load (for consumption) and of course they will see both advantages and disadvantages (which particularly the latter does not seem out in the conventional STEM implementations involving photovoltaics). Beyond the energy issue, students will come in contact with simple electronic circuits and the basic elements that constitute them.
Knowledge acquisition gain
  Skills: Introduction of the world of design process and on how engineers work / encourage problem-solving skills / practical application of science and math in engineering / developing critical thinking / support teamwork, motivation, troubleshooting and learning from failure / understanding of the materials and their role in the engineering process. Science concepts: electricity / electromagnetism / law of electromagnetic induction / electric circuit / electric circuit / intensity / voltage / conductivity / resistance / capacitor / DC motors / solar power / quantum model of the atom / energy levels / photoelectric effect / light / wave-particle duality / photons / electrons.

Workforce in Engineering

Engineering accounts for almost half of the STEM student population. In the EU, jobs for engineers and other researchers grew by 7% in the past five years. Jobs for science and engineering technicians - such as construction supervisors and process controllers - grew by 2%. Overall, they account for 7% of all jobs in the EU. As of 2016, around 15 million European engineering and science workers are employed. Many of them work in the manufacturing, construction, and professional service sectors. In the next years, jobs for engineers and researchers will increase by 13%, and jobs for science and engineering technicians will increase by 2%.

  210 min
Number of staff
Science Discipline
Education Level
12-18 years
Installation effort
No installation required on typical computer
Knowledge prerequisites
Classroom use
Supervision required
Teacher supervision required
Technical requirements
You'll need to buy some materials

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