Name: Date:

Making a Solar-Powered Machine

To make a machine that runs on solar power, you need a solar cell, a small motor, two test leads, which are wire connectors with clamps, and modeling clay. The clay will serve as a holder for the motor. You may use the construction paper an dthread to make devices to attach to the motor. You also need direct sunlight or a desk lamp with a 60 watt bulb.

  • Use modeling clay to make a holder for the small motor. Set the motor in the holder, as shown.
  • Place a solar cell in bright sunlight or under a 60-watt lamp. Use the test leads to attach the cell to the motor, as shown.
  • Design and make a paper device such as a blade for a model electric can or a propeller for a model airplane. Attach the blade to the motor.
  • Find out what happens to the machine when you hold the solar cell closer to, and then farther away from, the source of the light.

You may download, print and make copies of these pages for use in your classroom, provided that you include the copyright notice shown below in all such copies.

Copyright © 1999 Houghton Mifflin Company. All Rights Reserved.