Kiosk Solar Panel Project

1st Place Winners

Caleb, Connor and Soren won first place in the KidWind-VA Middle School Solar Challenge!

The team's project is also featured on the national KidWind site at

Circuit Master Award

Caleb, Connor and Soren won the Circuit Master Award! The judges recognized this team for doing a great job wiring their Kiosk-sound box!

Knowledge Award

Caleb, Connor and Soren won the knowledge award!

This means they really know about green energies, solar and wind energies!

Caleb, Connor and Soren designed and created a miniature Kiosk that holds a motion activated sound player. When someone walks by the kiosk, the motion detector activates the sound player (the boys call the cube) to make the sound of a train pulling into a train station. The train sound should attract a passer-by back over to the Kiosk to see what is going on. Then they can read town events that are displayed in the Kiosk. To keep the sound player charged, the boys had to figure out how many solar panels and in what circuit configuration would be needed to produce enough energy to keep the sound player's rechargeable batteries charged.

Pictured: Makersmiths' member, Dave Painter, working with the boys to measure and cut the wood for their project. The boy's plans for the Kiosk that holds the sound player are shown below.

Diagram 1

This is the original drawing of the prototype Kiosk the boys want to build as their structure for the solar competition for KidWind.

Diagram 2

Their idea was to have an access to the inside on the bottom of the Kiosk, two solar cells on the top with a Kiosk screen on the top, front side.

First the boys made a cardboard structure from their originial plans (as pictured).

The Structure

When discussing their design with Makersmiths member Dave Painter, they decided that a complete opening in the back would be better for inserting the cube sound box and circuitry, including the battery box (storage deveice). The solar cells will be attached to the top part of their structure that can be rotated in order to best position the solar cells for optimum light capture from the sun.


To keep the sound box secure, the boys used foam and fed the wires through holes in the platform and top of the main box to lead up to the solar panels that mount on the outside of the rotating top.

Inside the Kiosk

The solar cells on top of the Kiosk (shown in the Sound Box Activation movie) are connected to the batteries in the storage device (black box) and the sound box (the boys call the cube). We laid the storage box and wires with connectors on the table so that you can see how they are all clamped together.

Next, see our Solar Panel Competition video. Then read our documentation that tells the story about our work!

So does the sound box activate when motion is detected? See this movie to find out!