Sorry to hear about your mother. I hope you're taking care of yourself, too; you've probably been through a lot this year.
I don't know what class/age/topics you're looking for. Here's a website that has a full week-and-a-half project: www.re-energy.ca It deals with alternative energy sources and generation. By the end of the project (and it has a grading device, lesson plans, project deadlines, and information available) the groups have diagrammed energy flow and electrical conversion, created a display about the energy source and constructed a working model generator. I do this with my exploratory classes but it could be "dialed up" a little for upperclassmen.