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Stretch Your Potential

From this activity from the How to Smile Collection, learners create a toy that demonstrates the First Law of Thermodynamics or the Law of Conservation of Energy. By stretching the rubber band on the toy differently, learners explore the effects of potential energy on kinetic energy. The activity webpage from the Children’s Museum of Houston includes a fun how-to video for learners and educators.

Project Learning Tree

Project Learning Tree (PLT) is an award-winning environmental education program designed for teachers and other educators, parents, and community leaders working with youth from preschool through grade 12.  “You’ll branch out and leaf a better educator!”

PLT also provides professional development training for educators.

 

Beetles Project: Science and Teaching for Field Instructors

BEETLES  stands for “Better Environmental Education, Teaching, Learning & Expertise Sharing” and is based at the Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California at Berkeley.  The site focuses on experiential learning approaches, primarily for field instructors and outdoor education, but also for classroom educators as well. You’ll find lessons and associated video segments that demonstrate the lessons that center. The lessons are centered around beetles as a science topic for discovery.  Also note the great questioning strategies the facilitators use to foster deeper discussion.

PhET Simulations

The PhET online interactive simulations from the University of Colorado are free, research-based and research-validated, cover math and all the major sciences, and are translated into dozens of languages. The online teaching resources to support each simulation include a teacher’s guide from the PhET design team, plus classroom activities that clever teachers have already developed for a given simulation.  Here is a short list of suggested resources on energy:

  • The Energy Skate Park  (kinetic, potential energy)
  • Circuit Construction (electrical energy)
  • Energy Forms and Changes (energy states, forms, conservation of energy)
  • Generator (energy types, energy resources, magnetic fields)

And a long-time favorite, John Travoltage–where you can make John “Travoltage’s” leg rub to build up static so that he gets shocked when touching a doorknob!

Explore Utah’s Energy & Minerals

The Utah Energy & Minerals Education Initiative was launched in 2015 by the Governor’s Office of Energy Development (OED) and a variety of partner agencies, industry associations and other interested parties, all of whom shared the goal of advancing the public’s understanding of energy production and use.

To date, the Initiative has included K-12 curriculum development, scholarships for high school students, research funding and a Utah Energy & Minerals Days event hosted in conjunction with the annual Utah STEM Fest. As OED and its partners continue to make progress, expanding workforce development activities, public forums, and other forms of outreach and advocacy, this site will be a resource for all content, notices and news related to our education initiatives.

Currently, the site has lessons for grades 3-9 in science, social studies, and math.  Current events and news are also featured

NREL Energy Education Resources for Teachers

NREL(National Renewable Energy Lab) provides a variety of educational resources to help students, teachers, and parents educate their kids about renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies, including hands-on projects and curriculum suggestions for elementary school, middle school, and high school students as well as teachers.

The Physics Front

Physics Front has reviewed and catalogued quality resources for K-12 teaching.  This collection focuses on resources, lesson plans, activities, and websites in support of teaching concepts related to energy and other topics in physics.