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Designing and Testing Turbines

Creating turbines can be a fun way to explore the relationship of naturally occurring energy sources like wind. Using everyday materials students can create a variety of turbines that can be tested with LED’s and voltmeters to determine their effectiveness and start meaningful conversations around design improvements, energy conservation and a sustainable energy plan for the United States.

This resource from Discovery Place Science shows you how to build and test turbines with materials for the classroom, including 3-D plans for gear systems for your turbines.

Novel Engineering: How It Works

Novel Engineering:  Developed by Tufts University, Novel Engineering is an excellent way to integrate literacy and STEM in your teaching.  In this video, we’ll take you through the steps of this approach using a book on energy as an example. By looking at the characters in a story, students will identify problems these characters are faced with and then brainstorm possible solutions to help them.  Once they’ve chosen one idea to develop, the students can then design a solution using simple materials in the classroom and share and refine their ideas with their classmates—just like an engineer solving with problems with energy.

  • Presented by Rob Payo, Denver Museum of Nature & Science and Ann Hernandez,  Association of Science Technology Centers.

Supply list:

  • Book
  • Scratch/sketch paper
  • Scrap materials (foam, foil, paper, cardboard, fabric, etc)
  • Art supplies (glue, yarn, scissors, tape, markers)

PlayDecide Game: Energy and Sustainability

PlayDecide is a discussion game to talk in a simple and effective way about controversial issues. Setting up a session of PlayDecide is very easy. It’s a conversation game that requires a small group of people (4 to 8, although it works best with 5-6 people) around a table.

This PlayDecide game focuses on energy and sustainability.  Through discussion of issues and different perspectives, players must determine a way to reduce emissions via multiple strategies such as technology, changing behaviors, legislative laws and regulations, etc.

Activity: Roll on Through

Design, build, and test a ramp using cardboard and other household materials. Create a pathway for round objects to roll down the cardboard ramp. Incorporate the floor, stairs, countertops, or furniture into the ramp design. This activity helps children develop flexible thinking skills.

This activity and more can be found online at Creativity Catapult, from the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito, CA.,  is a research-backed, expert-curated collection of activities that promote creativity skills in children ages 2-14. Creativity Catapult is an online collection of activities to promote children’s creativity development. Curated by experts with contributions from esteemed education institutions from around the globe, Creativity Catapult is intended for practitioners charged with raising a generation of future innovators – parents, teachers and informal educators – as well as kids themselves.

 

Activity: Electric Scribbles

Children explore the intersection of science and art by inventing a machine that can draw as it moves. This activity helps children develop divergent thinking skills.

This activity and more can be found online at Creativity Catapult, from the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito, CA.,  is a research-backed, expert-curated collection of activities that promote creativity skills in children ages 2-14. Creativity Catapult is an online collection of activities to promote children’s creativity development. Curated by experts with contributions from esteemed education institutions from around the globe, Creativity Catapult is intended for practitioners charged with raising a generation of future innovators – parents, teachers and informal educators – as well as kids themselves.

 

Activity: LED Creations

Spruce up artwork by adding LEDs to drawings and paper sculptures. In this activity, children learn about conductivity, current flow, simple circuit design, and mechanical switches.

This activity and more can be found online at Creativity Catapult, from the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito, CA.,  is a research-backed, expert-curated collection of activities that promote creativity skills in children ages 2-14. Creativity Catapult is an online collection of activities to promote children’s creativity development. Curated by experts with contributions from esteemed education institutions from around the globe, Creativity Catapult is intended for practitioners charged with raising a generation of future innovators – parents, teachers and informal educators – as well as kids themselves.

 

Activity: Zip Lines

Children work together to transform everyday materials into creations that can carry weight safely across a zip line.

This activity and more can be found online at Creativity Catapult, from the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito, CA.,  is a research-backed, expert-curated collection of activities that promote creativity skills in children ages 2-14. Creativity Catapult is an online collection of activities to promote children’s creativity development. Curated by experts with contributions from esteemed education institutions from around the globe, Creativity Catapult is intended for practitioners charged with raising a generation of future innovators – parents, teachers and informal educators – as well as kids themselves.

Cotton Catapult

Design and construct a catapult that launches cotton balls as far as possible! This maker activity helps children build creative thinking skills, such as divergent (brainstorming) and convergent (decision-making) skills.

This activity and more can be found online at Creativity Catapult, from the Bay Area Discovery Museum in Sausalito, CA.,  a research-backed, expert-curated collection of activities that promote creativity skills in children ages 2-14. Creativity Catapult is an online collection of activities to promote children’s creativity development. Curated by experts with contributions from esteemed education institutions from around the globe, Creativity Catapult is intended for practitioners charged with raising a generation of future innovators – parents, teachers and informal educators – as well as kids themselves.

CLEAN Collection: Demonstrations

The CLEAN Collection is a hand-picked and rigorously reviewed collection of educational resources aligned with the Climate Literacy and the Energy Literacy frameworks, and the Next Generation Science Standards.

This short list of demonstrations include resources related to thermal expansion and sea level rise, fermentation, biofuels, and solar ovens.