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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: 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.

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.

Energy: A Multidisciplinary Approach for Teachers (EMAT)

Energy: A Multidisciplinary Approach for Teachers (EMAT) is an online course for high school science teachers. We developed it for teachers, but it’s chock full of resources that teachers might use with high school students.

Energy ideas are fundamental to all areas of science. Our goal is to help teachers learn more about energy ideas and, in turn, help their students understand energy, too. When our kids understand key energy concepts, they will be better prepared to actively participate as citizens in making energy decisions as part of our rapidly changing economy.

BSCS developed the EMAT course in collaboration with Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB), the National Teachers Enhancement Network (NTEN) of Montana State University, the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), and the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC).

Register with the Rise learning management system (it’s free) and then choose EMAT from the course catalog.

There are six units in the EMAT course:

  • Coal
  • Nuclear Energy
  • Wind
  • Geothermal Energy
  • Biofuels
  • Solar Energy

Each unit helps teachers learn key energy concepts and think about how to help students learn key energy concepts. As part of the course, there are a variety of materials to help both students and teachers:

  1. Animations—short animated videos that showcase important science and energy concepts
  2. Interactive Learning Experiences—interactive and fun opportunities to explore scientific ideas related to energy
  3. Classroom Videos—see how other teachers have engaged their students in teaching complex ideas related to energy

ASTC Dimensions: Looking Toward the Future of Energy

Dimensions, the bimonthly magazine of the Association of Science-Technology Centers, just won another award for this energy-focused issue. Communications Concepts, Inc. has given an APEX Award of Excellence (category: Magazines, Journals, and Tabloids—Green) to our March/April 2016 issue, Looking Toward the Future of Energy. The Green category honors publications covering topics including energy efficiency, conservation, the environment, and climate education. This issue features a mix of in-depth analysis and briefs of noteworthy events and resources for the informal education field. The insights to energy trends and practices featured here are beneficial for teachers, parents, and informal educators alike.

Sun to Cheese

In this video, Ryan Morra,  Professional Learning Coordinator at Shelburne Farms in Vermont traces the energy and processes involved in making cheese all the way back to the Sun as an energy source.  By applying the idea of energy transfer to the real-life scenario of how cheese is made, teachers can then choose to actually make cheese with their students in the classroom. (3:11 minutes)

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