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This STEM resource focuses on the topic of renewable energy and is comprised of three interrelated activities to help students discuss and explore this subject:
ACTIVITY #1: What keeps your lights on ?
In this preliminary activity the students are asked to investigate the source of electricity in their area. Students are encouraged to research online and to ask questions about where their electricity comes from. In addition, the students are encouraged to share their results online via the "Schools Online" website with a partner school in another country.
ACTIVITY #2: Windmill Energy Challenge
In this group activity the students will construct miniature wind turbine blades and evaluate their effectiveness. Once again, the students are encouraged to share their designs with a partner school via the "Schools Online" network.
ACTIVITY #3: Solar Heating
In the final activity, individually or in a group, students will build a model of a solar heater and investigate how to make it most effective. The students can then compare their designs with other students via the "Schools Online" network. They are also asked how the designs differ based on the weather in their area/country.
This resource has the following strengths:
The resource has the following weaknesses:
This resource would be beneficial for a teacher wishing to integrate STEM activities into their classroom. It would be most applicable to students at the middle school level.
The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives||Good|
In the cross-curricular activities that are suggested, the students role play different perspectives during a debate regarding the building of a wind farm.
A chart is also included in the materials that examines the advantages and disadvantages of different types of alternative energy sources.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Satisfactory|
Within the materials provided, a chart examines the advantages and disadvantages of different types of alternative energy sources. The teacher may have to supplement some of the social dimensions of the issue in order to effectively address all dimensions equally.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Satisfactory|
There are a fair number of extension activities that provide students with an opportunity to work towards a positive change.
|Acting on Learning: |
Learning moves from understanding issues to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community, or for the planet
|Values Education||Poor/Not considered|
This is not a focus of this resource
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Poor/Not considered|
This is not a focus in this resource.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).|
|Personal Affinity with Earth||Good|
Through the introductory video and the activities, the students can develop a concern for the natural world and the effect that energy consumption is having upon it.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
With the research question in Activity #1, students aim to learn the source of their electricity. This helps to create an awareness and a relevancy of the issue for the students.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Good|
The resource presents ideas that can make a difference in energy consumption in the future as well as describing our current demands for energy.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
|Open-Ended Instruction||Very Good|
The students are able to choose their own direction when building their models of solar heaters as well as wind mill blades. The questions that are provided for the teacher are open ended and allow for the students to make their own conclusions.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
The three core activities are definitely Science based lessons; however, the cross-curricular activities are more flexible in terms of subject area.
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
The activities in the lesson are hands-on activities that provide a simulation for a real world context.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Poor/Not considered|
This resource does not provide assessment and evaluation material.
|Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.|
The only peer teaching that occurs is from presentations and the sharing of group work.
|Peer Teaching: |
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
In preparation for the role play activity students are directed to explore existing energy projects including China's Three Gorges Project.
|Case Studies: |
Relevant case studies are included. Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore concepts in an authentic context.
|Locus of Control||Good|
|Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.|