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Solar Powered Ferris Wheel

posted Apr 30, 2011, 9:16 AM by K Day   [ updated Nov 10, 2011, 11:53 AM ]
Today was the first sunny day we've had in awhile and Taka' really wanted to build something and power it with solar energy. So we pulled out our Lego Education Renewable Energy kit and found the solar powered ferris wheel - SCORE! He had it all put together in about 20 minutes. We took it outside to see if solar cell would really work. Guess what - IT DID! 

We did some experimentation with the solar cell such as 
- Covering different amounts of the solar cell to see what changed
- Blocking the sun from the solar cell with different materials, shapes and shadows.
- Adding different weights to the ferris wheel
- We actually let it go until the sun went down just to really see if the sun could power it all afternoon. It did :) 

We had a lot of fun with this and we're already looking forward to our next Lego experiment! Fun Energy Factoid: Did you know that we can't actually make new energy, we can only transfer it. So in the case of the solar cell we are transferring the energy from the photons into the solar panel into electricity. (This is a very simplified explanation and I encourage you to explore this with your kids at a level suitable to their understanding.)