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USB Charger Build

Theme: 
Energy, Innovation and Design
Grade: 
9, 10, 11, 12
Essential questions
How does a schematic circuit diagram help in planning the build of an electric circuit?
In what ways does the use of a solar powered device affect typical user behavior with regards to energy use?
When designing a product, why are the choices for materials and assembling techniques important to ensure sustainability of material resources?

The solar USB charger build is the culmination of the SEI Solar USB Charger project, students having the opportunity to design, build, and test a functional electronic device that can charge their smartphone. Additionally, during this part of the project, students learn the practical skill of soldering and have the opportunity to engage with product design to innovate a case that can hold their charger for improved usability.

In preparation for the build, students review the schematic diagram of the solar USB charger and the function of any new components required for this circuit. Next, they work in groups to plan the building process based on the schematic diagram and complete all the required connections. Upon successfully testing the charger, students can practice the steps of human-centered design to create an enclosure using recycled materials.

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