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Essential Energy Educationissues, careers, classroom resources

How Kids Teaching Kids Works in My Classroom

Author: ; Published: Oct 18, 2012; Category: Classroom materials, Energy Education; Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ; Comments: Comments Off

 

Guest blog by Jeannine Huffman, CTE Energy & Design Instructor, San Joaquin County Office of Education – Stockton, CA. Courtesy of The NEED Project.

How did Jeannine Huffman convince her students to not only want to learn about energy content, but remember it as well? Her strategy was kids teaching kids… read more in this fascinating blog post!

At the end of the school year my high school students know energy transformations, energy sources, and electricity generation by heart. In fact, when Pacific Gas and Electric sent a team to help students conduct an energy audit, the professionals said that our students were the only students they had ever worked with who could name every form and source of energy, each transformation, and how electricity was generated.

How did I accomplish this? I first had to convince my students at the beginning of each year to want to learn and remember the energy content.  I did this by introducing them to the Learning Pyramid. I have known about the Learning Pyramid, but have not had an opportunity to fully put its method into action until I began using NEED curriculum. I have grown more and more convinced that the Pyramid is representative of the belief that when Kids Teach Kids they retain and apply the content more effectively.

How does it work in my classroom?  I post the Learning Pyramid Chart and refer to it during class, reminding the students that our goal is to reach the top. At the bottom of the chart is Lecture 5%, so I say to my students, “If I stand up here and lecture, you will only remember 5%. In fact, you probably wonder how you are ever going to remember everything.” Student buy-in is critical and right away they see on the chart that they will only remember 10% if they read along with my lecture. As students move up the chart, adding visuals to reading and lecture, the retention increases to 20%. This affords the students a chance to tap into their meta-cognitive skills which means they are thinking about their own learning and taking personal responsibility to examine how they learn.

Demonstrations help students remember a concept but it has been suggested that they will only remember 30%.   How do I know this? When asked to explain energy transformations, or energy flow from the sun, most cannot explain the concept completely. Allowing students to discuss in groups and as a class may increase their retained knowledge up to 50%.  As a teacher you will reap rewards, and they will too, by allowing them to discuss and collaborate.  It is OK for a classroom to be noisy.  Science and technology aren’t silent.   After demonstrations and discussion about half the class can explain the energy flow well.

When students practice by doing, the retention can increase to 75%.  Through repetition, most students are able to easily explain the energy transformation. Let your students experiment, explore and work in teams. It is more work for you to set up multiple labs, but the return on the investment of teacher time is significant.  NEED’s hands-on kits (wind, solar, Science of Energy and more) come with equipment for demonstrations and experiments like the Hand Generated Flashlight that students use to see how motion energy transforms to electrical energy.  Hands-on learning always requires more investment of time in the classroom, but it pays off in student performance and classroom success.

The biggest return on the investment is when students are afforded the opportunity to teach others. This is not a surprise to NEED teachers. For example, once you became a teacher, your first lecture on electrons made much more sense and led to more personal understanding.  The same holds true for your students. Unless they can explain each step accurately, they do not really understand the concept. What a perfect way to assess your students on the spot! The work that goes into preparing to teach a class prepares students for energy presentations and other academic presentations they will give throughout the year. It is an effective, and fun, way to bring important concepts about energy out of the classroom and into the community.  Teach each other, teach others.

What is the gain by taking extra classroom time for every student to teach each other? A whopping 90%.  I believe it! There is a great deal of satisfaction in observing them as they teach and as I assess them informally.  Once students are trained in this method, they know they do not leave the classroom until they have taught others. By the time the student teams have practiced and presented lessons, they have heard the concepts better than they ever expected.  Moreover, students seem to compete with one another to see who can give the best presentation! The classroom becomes a truly cooperative learning space and students all pay better attention, are more engaged and accountability and responsibility for learning skyrockets.  One freshman, who was struggling to grasp a concept after several attempts to explain, finally had an AH HA! moment and said, “I will never forget this!” This is what a teacher lives for!

To embed this knowledge, I reinforce regularly in a playful way. Out of the blue I will say, “I just heard a noise outside who can trace that energy flow from the sun?” Hands shoot up as students have become very aware of energy around them.

This about this:  I was talking with my niece about teaching electrolytes in my chemistry class. My niece said, “I memorized what the definition of an electrolyte was and passed my chemistry class last year, but I can’t even tell you what it is now.” This statement disturbed me. How many of us are good at memorizing facts but still don’t know how to apply that knowledge? Teach them to teach and they will never forget!

I love the NEED curriculum.  But it is only recently that I have come to realize the importance of the motto, “Kids Teaching Kids.” It was not until I had firsthand experience with the Learning Pyramid that see and know how well it works.

Learn more about the NEED project at www.NEED.org

Join the conversation on Facebook— www.Facebook.com/Energy4me. You can also connect with us on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/Energy4me

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Visit a Petroleum Museum… They Tell Fascinating Stories!

Author: ; Published: Sep 6, 2012; Category: Classroom materials, Energy Education, Volunteering; Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ; Comments: Comments Off

Want to enhance your knowledge of the petroleum industry? How about a petroleum museum! At the museums, watch history come to life with interactive displays, informative guides, and live demonstrations. Some even have specific, focused, elementary, middle and high school educational tours. From Calgary to France to West Virginia, petroleum museums tell fascinating stories of oil discovery, production, to showcasing some of the modern uses of oil you might not know about.

For instance, at the Houston Museum of Natural Science’s Energy exhibit, the Exploration gallery features the latest techniques used to search for hydrocarbons, from magnetometers and gravimeters to seismic vibrator trucks. In the Geology in the Field interactive, gaze across a barren, mountainous landscape, and watch as holographic illusions of two petroleum geologists materialize and explain what they are doing in the middle of nowhere. A massive Vibroseis truck interrupts them, sending its booming vibrations deep into the rock below.

At the Indonesian Oil and Gas Museum, the exhibits display how important the role of oil and gas is as the source of energy, for fuel, lubricants and petrochemical products. There’s even an oil tree that symbolically displays at its branches various products resulting from the refinery processes of oil and gas.

Check out our full petroleum museum listings HERE. Have plans to attend one on the list? Share your experience with us by Joining the conversation on Facebook— www.Facebook.com/Energy4me. You can also connect with us on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/Energy4me!  

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Take the Wheel… Run an Energy4me Program!

Author: ; Published: Aug 16, 2012; Category: Classroom materials, Energy Education, Science, SPE members; Tags: , , , , , ; Comments: Comments Off

Together, we can make a difference by sharing the facts about energy with the public and putting a face on the industry.

Energy is a critical issue worldwide, and we believe face-to-face interaction is one of the many effective ways to spread the word about energy conservation, the future of the oil and gas industry and its impact on the planet! SPE members, teachers, young professionals and even university students all bring a facet to energy education that can lead the way.

Doing your part for energy education is easy, and there are plenty of ways for you to get involved! Based on your interests, you may consider the following activities:

  • Classroom presentations
  • Show and tell
  • Donate Energy4me materials to schools
  • Supporting teacher workshops
  • Scholarships/grants

Read more HERE about how to get started, setting a plan of action and how to utilize Energy4me materials during the program!

Join the conversation and discuss with us on Facebook— www.Facebook.com/Energy4me. You can also connect with us on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/Energy4me.

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School’s in… Start Lesson Plans with Oil (Petroleum) Basics!

Author: ; Published: Aug 2, 2012; Category: Classroom materials, Classroom presentations, Energy Education, Environment; Tags: , , , , ; Comments: Comments Off

The summer is almost over and the students are headed back to school: eager to learn and teachers eager to teach! Something Energy4me has noticed in schools is that students are always very enthusiastic about learning the oil basics, particularly, how oil was formed. Well, here we lay it for you courtesy of the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Oil was formed from the remains of animals and plants (diatoms) that lived millions of years ago in a marine (water) environment before the dinosaurs. Over millions of years, the remains of these animals and plants were covered by layers of sand and silt. Heat and pressure from these layers helped the remains turn into what we today call crude oil. The word “petroleum” means “rock oil” or “oil from the earth.”

Crude oil is a smelly, yellow-to-black liquid and is usually found in underground areas called reservoirs. Scientists and engineers explore a chosen area by studying rock samples from the earth. Measurements are taken, and, if the site seems promising, drilling begins. Above the hole, a structure called a ‘derrick’ is built to house the tools and pipes going into the well. When finished, the drilled well will bring a steady flow of oil to the surface.

Here are just a few of the products made from petroleum:

  • Ink
  • Crayons
  • Dishwashing liquids
  • Deodorant
  • Eyeglasses
  • CDs and DVDs
  • Tires
  • Ammonia
  • Heart valves

Learn something you didn’t know? Join the conversation and discuss with us on Facebook— www.Facebook.com/Energy4me. You can also connect with us on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/Energy4me.

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Commonly-Used Energy “Slang” Terms Can Help Familiarity

Author: ; Published: Jul 12, 2012; Category: Classroom materials, Energy Education, Science; Tags: , , , , ; Comments: Comments Off

Everyday words sometimes have a different meaning to people who work in energy industry. Here is a fun activity you can share with your students to test how much they know regarding commonly-used slang terminology in the energy industry! How many do you know? Follow the link for the interactive webpage!

**Courtesy of the U.S. Energy Information Administration, http://www.eia.gov/kids/energy.cfm?page=energy_slang 

 

Join the conversation and discuss with us on Facebook— www.Facebook.com/Energy4me. You can also connect with us on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/Energy4me.

 

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