What do you remember most from science class? Was it the lab reports you wrote, the research you did in the library, or was it the things you built? Our students live in a digital world but still crave those same hands-on experiences to connect to the concepts they are learning.
Our classroom is vibrant, energetic, open, and diverse.
I have students teaching me to say good morning in Khmer, Farsi, Arabic, Turkish, Spanish, French, Somali, and Chinese. These students work together, challenge each other, argue, and find ways to work together again. The students are excited to share their discoveries and crave building towers, mixing chemicals, rolling carts, and collecting data to support their ideas. Our school is a medium size middle-school that strives to have every student participate in at least one service-learning project each year. We work with community partners and students have opportunities to understand the benefits and responsibilities of active citizenship.
These resources are part of a larger unit that will enhance students understanding of the energy issues they will face in their lifetime. I am requesting two electricity kits so that pairs of students will be able to experiment with different circuit arrangements. In the kits are wires, battery packs, switches, and lights, with which students can compare the effects of wiring lights in parallel and series. Building circuits engages students and provides a connection to what they learned in school to what happens when they flip a light switches at home. I am also requesting 5 multimeters so that students can record data about there circuits. Measuring the voltage and current in the circuit helps students to recognize that conservation of energy pertains to electricity and sets the framework for student investigations on electricity generation, transmission, usage in the home, and conservation.
Students face a constant barrage of information delivered at a breakneck pace.
These students have cell phones, access to computers, and televisions clamoring for their attention. They can likely download an app to snap together a virtual circuit and light up an icon of a bulb. Help me pull their attention to the excitement of building something by hand and channel that excitement to thinking about energy solutions.
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