The Engine of Life

This The Engine of Life lesson plan also includes:

There is a specific zone, or distance from a star, that a planet must be in order to have water in a liquid form. The activity demonstrates how flux density depends on its distance from the source. A photovoltaic cell gets power to drive a motor if it's within the proper zone, thus depicting the engine of life within a planetary system.


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CCSS: Adaptable
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Instructional Ideas
  • Research the number of planets in a habitable zone within Kepler:
Classroom Considerations
  • Determine the number of groups based on the availability of equipment
  • Before the experiment, verify the photovoltaic cell generates enough power for the motor being used
  • Includes a photo of how to properly set up the materials for success with the experiment
  • Offers extension ideas for older or more advanced scholars
  • None