Science Explorers is a unique professional development program for teachers
offering day-long, activity-based science workshops to teams composed of a teacher and five students.
Teachers and students in grades five through eight work side by side, which gives teachers the opportunity to observe how students respond to the activities, and allows students to develop their own knowledge and leadership skills.
(Em)powering the Future II: Kids Exploring Renewable and Sustainable Energy
Science Explorers Renewable Energy Workshops, 2010-11
Wind and Power Storage:
In this workshop, students will learn how wind turbines take the wind's energy and turn it into electricity and how electricity can be stored. Participants will build a wind turbine and test different designs measuring the voltage output of each while learning to use a multimeter. After testing different variables using pre-made blades teams will be challenged to light up light bulbs, LEDS, run a small motor etc. Finally, students and teachers will charge an ultra capacitor and store the energy made by the wind turbine. They will use these charged ultra-capacitors to drive a toy truck measuring the length of time the truck runs.
In this workshop, students and teachers will explore the principles of collecting sunlight to warm and light your home. They will explore the reasons for the seasons and learn about the longest and shortest days of the year. Students and teachers will explore passive solar design by constructing model houses using the principles of solar design such as insulation, overhangs, thermal mass, and orientation. The solar houses will be tested in a Heliodon to measure how well the house absorbs the sun's light energy in the winter and blocks the sun's light energy in the summer. The participants will calculate the angle of the sun in Colorado in the winter and in the summer and measure how much light enters their structure at different times of the day using a light meter. They will also use graph paper to trace the winter light entering the solar home and the summer light entering the solar home with and without an overhang.
Energy conservation is the cheapest and easiest way to ensure our energy supplies for the future. During this workshop students will explore some of the ways we can use energy more efficiently in our everyday lives. through fun and interactive relay games, students will learn about the three ways heat is transferred: conduction, convection, and radiation. Expanding their knowledge of heat transfer, students will discover how insulation works in homes and buildings, allowing for more efficient heating and cooling. Additionally, by conducting an energy audit on commonly used appliances, students will discover both the energy and monetary costs of everyday activities such as watching TV, using a curling iron or toasting a piece of bread.
"This was an incredible day of inquiry based, hands-on learning for my students and for me. We all learned so much. Thank you, thank you! " -Science Explorers 2008 Participant
Visit the Science Discovery website to learn more at http://www.colorado.edu/sciencediscovery/teachers/sciex4.html/.
Kristi K. Dahl
Director of Science Explorers
University of Colorado
3400 Marine Street
Science Learning Lab
Boulder, Colorado 80309