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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.

Girls of Energy: DOE

Girls of Energy is designed to ignite curiosity and engage young minds across the globe, and we are thrilled to bring it to you. It showcases exceptional women who are conquering today’s energy challenges and creating tomorrow’s technology solutions. Comprised of lesson plans, activities, and an engaging website, Girls of Energy highlights the importance of energy and how it improves the lives of our friends, neighbors, and family members. Exploring the cutting-edge energy research and technology being developed at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Laboratories, Girls of Energy allows young women to see just how amazing a STEM career can be.

Facilitating Discussion: The Art of Focused Conversation

In this video, learn how to slow down conversations and elicit deeper thinking and listening in small group discussion using a protocol designed for more focused conversations.  This protocol is ideal for exploring a topic and giving voice to each person in the group in a step-by-step process that allows for more reflective listening and thinking.

Teaching Channel

Teaching Channel is a thriving online community where teachers can watch, share, and learn diverse techniques to help every student grow.

“So great to see good instructions live with kids. There are lots of resources linked with each lesson on the site.”

In terms of content related to energy, see these highlighted resources:

  • Energy Across the Disciplines: Students design Rube Goldberg machines to study energy transfers and energy transformations. The teacher uses the machines to help students make connections between flow of energy in ecosystems of life science with that of physical energy to then discuss conservation of energy and how that is reflected across different disciplines of science.
  • Potential Energy: Problem Solving Skills: A lesson introducing middle school students to the idea of potential energy. Students work through text with background information on potential energy before working with simulations calculating the amount of potential energy in different scenarios in small groups to further their understanding.
  • Exploring Real World Energy Transformations: Lesson with stations and identifying energy transformations and transfers using real world examples students are familiar with
  • STEM Activity: Heat Loss: In this fun activity, students build a house and then measure the amount of heat loss within the structure.  After making adjustments in “insulation”, students measure the amount of heat loss again, prompting further discussion on home energy efficiency

 

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.