This inquiry unit takes students through a series of 3 lessons leading to a final Design Challenge. Each focuses on understanding the difference between perimeter and area of rectangles, while acquiring an appreciation for renewable sources of energy; especially solar energy. Students begin by investigating types and needs for alternate sources of energy. They look for rectangles in real-life, derive and then make sense of the formulas for perimeter and areas of rectangles by creating “quilts” from unit squares. This leads to examining different styles of rectangular rooftops, and creating rectangular A-frame rooftops experimenting with certain perimeter and area measures. The Design Challenge has student teams cover as much of their A-frame rooftops as possible with square solar panels; analyzing and recording the best solution for their roofs with the least cost and highest energy output per solar panel.
- Lesson 1: In the Empathy phase, students understand a real-world problem – How can you use the power of the sun to save energy?
- Lesson 2: In the Define phase, students analyze a real world use for and derive the formulas for area & perimeter by creating “quilts” from unit squares.
- Lesson 3: In another Define phase, students investigate roofs, create an A-frame roof, and describe how to find the formulas for its perimeter and area.
- Design Challenge: In this phase, students use square “solar” panels (having different costs and energy outputs) to design a solar paneled A-frame roof, covering as much roof space as possible with the lowest panel cost and the highest panel energy output.
- Energy and fuels are derived from natural resources and their uses affect the environment
- There are energy sources that help the environment and others that do not help the environment
- Students recognize and record many sources of renewable energy
- Students recognize the sun as one renewable source of energy
- Given the perimeter of a quilt, explain how to find its area.
- Given the area and width of an entire quilt describe how to find its perimeter.
- Derive the area formula of a rectangle as a multiplication equation with an unknown factor.
- Derive the perimeter formula of a rectangle as having to add the lengths and widths of all the sides.
- Given a fixed area for 1 side of an A-frame roof, describe how to find the perimeter.
- Given a fixed perimeter for 1 side of an A-frame roof, describe how to find the area.
- Show the area formula as a multiplication equation with an unknown factor.
- Show the perimeter formula as an addition equation with lengths and widths.