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- Jonathan M.
- Wichita, KS
Energy Teacher Resources
Find Energy educational ideas and activities
Here is a wonderful series of lessons designed to introduce learners to the variety of renewable, clean energy sources used by people all over the world. Geothermal energy is the resource focused on. This particular sources of energy happens to be readily-available in many developing countries. These lessons produced by Hemispheres are among the best geography lessons I've yet come across. Highly recommended!
Passive solar heating is a technology that's been in use for thousands of years. Here, elementary schoolers are exposed to this type of heating, the materials that are used in passive solar heating, and they study how engineers design passive solar heating systems for buildings. The fascinating lesson should be of high interest for your charges. There is a worksheet embedded in the plan that reinforces student learning as well. A terrific lesson!
Elementary schoolers discover how engineers use solar energy to heat buildings. They take a close look at some of the materials used: sand, salt, water, and shredded paper and evaluate the efficiency of each material. An incredible lesson that has learners divide up into groups. Each group is assigned one of the materials, and they perform experiments to determine the solar index of each. Terrific worksheets and websites are embedded in the plan to support the teaching and learning. A top-notch science lesson plan!
Scientists need to have mastered algebraic slope-intercept concepts in order for this lesson to be effective. They will measure and graph solar panel output as a function of the amount of radiation striking it, discovering that there is a linear relationship. With the information collected, they also determine the calibration curve for the solar panel that they are working with. This is a top-notch lesson plan in that it gives physical science learners practice using a multimeter, solving problems, and applying math skills.
Split your earth science or environmental studies class into groups and give each a scenario card. Scenario cards describe the lifestyles of 10 different fictitious families, focusing on their energy usage. Carbon dioxide emissions are calculated and compared. Plenty of background information, additional reading materials, and interdisciplinary extension ideas are all provided to allow you to prepare a well-rounded lesson.
Middle school science stars observe and record data on the solar radiation reflected off or transmitted through various materials. They predict properties for various materials, and test their predictions by touch. This lesson becomes practical as the gleaned knowledge is applied to making consumer choices when it comes to characteristics of a car. Comprehensive resources are provided for you in this writeup, including background information, materials and procedures, lab sheets for learners, and review questions.
Energy conservation is a hot topic these days; introduce your kids to the Smart Grid solution through a video clip and several interactive online tools. They discuss areas of household energy consumption, examining a pie chart (provided). There are discussion questions to drive critical thinking after scholars have watched some or all of the clips provided here. They find their household energy consumption using an online tool and can even play some energy games, all linked. Can they use what they've learned to propose Smart Grid application at the household level? There is a worksheet here to guide thinking.
Technology or engineering teams are given a task to design, construct, and test the efficiency of a structure that will foster an even temperature throughout an entire day in the sunlight. This is intended as a long-term project. Pupils research, plan, bring materials in from home, build, evaluate, and write a report. A 13-page packet is provided as a guide and record-keeping journal. There is even a grading rubric that you can share with them to keep them on task and use to assess their work.
Adjust this lesson to fit either beginning or more advanced learners. Build a scatter plot, determine appropriate model (linear, quadratic, exponential), and then extend to evaluate the model with residuals. This problem uses real-world data and challenges one to make predications based on the model.
Biotech engineers discover that changes in the DNA code for cell wall formation can help create crops better suited for biofuel production. They extract DNA from wheat germ. They decode paper strips with codes and relate the activity to DNA expression. Thorough background information, student handouts, and relevant resource links help make this a breeze for you to teach!
OPEC is a name that can make the hair stand up on the back of your neck. Many adults understand that because gasoline is in high demand and on short supply, OPEC can raise the price to turn a pretty profit. Help learners understand the economics behind demand, profit motive, and monopolies. They complete a series of activities and explore a variety of websites to develop their economic understanding.
Can you imagine being able to manipulate DNA to create a dog? It happens in nature everyday; why not let kids get a chance to see how DNA is put together to create the traits that make pets, animals, and people the unique creatures they are. Each team is handed an envelope containing the DNA or recipe for what their dog is going to look like, they use the strands and the trait code to determine which traits their dog is going to have. They then draw their dogs based on the DNA in each envelope. The lesson includes some great points for discussion, DNA code strips, dog trait key, and the same set of handouts in Spanish! This is a super cool way to learn about DNA!
Students discuss rising gas prices, then read a news article about how the increase in fuel cost may affect other prices. In this economics and current events lesson, the teacher introduces the article with a discussion and vocabulary activity, then students read the news report and participate in a class discussion. Lesson includes interdisciplinary follow-up activities.
Does the angle of a solar panel change the output? Emerging engineers find out! Demonstrate for your class how they can angle a straw to match the angle of light rays coming from a source. Then turn them loose to experiment with the angle sunlight and the angle of their solar panels. This exercise is meant to prepare learners to participate in solar car races, but can also be used in a meteorology unit to explain why different parts of the planet are warmer: more sunlight, more heat.
In preparation for solar car races, middle schoolers attempt to discover what time of day the most solar energy can be collected. Begin by demonstrating the use of a voltmeter for measuring solar cell output. Take them outdoors to take measurements and make observations at different times of the day over a three-day period of time. Afterwards, critical -hinking questions on a worksheet help them assess their data.
Activate middle schoolers' minds with this physical science activity. Learners vary the diameter of gears and the number of teeth on them to find how energy output is affected. This writeup features well-developed background information for the teacher and provides a laboratory worksheet for the learners.
Through scientific inquiry, middle schoolers discover how to arrange solar cells in order to produce electricity. This activity is intended to prepare learners to be able to design and construct solar cars. As with other resources produced by School Power Naturally, this one provides extensive teacher information and a well-written laboratory worksheet.
Here is a five-day module in which high school chemists determine what other materials can serve as catalysts for producing ethanol. Another objective of the lessons is to introduce reaction rate and activation energy. Learners also use a computer to analyze and present their data.
Throughout this five-day instructional activity, emerging environmentalists explore the use of ethanol as an alternative renewable energy source. On days two and three, they actually hydrolyze cornstarch and make colorimetric analyses. Be aware that specialized lab equipment is necessary for the investigation: a Vernier LabPro and Colorimeter, graphing calculators, various glassware and measurement tools.