Posts tagged ‘energy science’

January 4, 2013

Qs: What Should People Know about Energy? What are the Challenges Teachers Face in Teaching Students about Energy? What Can Be Done to Meet these Challenges?

A: The Energy Summit is on answering these questions.

Courtesy of the Energy Summit

Courtesy of the Energy Summit

Energy is everywhere—its ubiquity in our everyday lives and across scientific disciplines is unquestionable, and it is commonly considered the ‘single most important crosscutting concept in science.’ But according to the CREATE for STEM Institute at Michigan State University, STEM faculty members themselves are often challenged by the notion of applying the concept of energy to their own research and communicating its importance to non-scientists. And with the advent of the NGSS and an increased need for secondary teachers and students to acquire an understanding about energy, the informational trickledown from the energy research community to K-12 audiences is muddy, and K-12 pedagogical strategies for teaching energy are duly inconsistent…

But the Energy Summit (an NSF-funded project by CREATE for STEM) is trying to change all that. Expert researchers from all over the world were invited to a first forum this past weekend in East Lansing, Michigan to share innovations in energy education research and proposed strategies for teaching energy in the K-12 classroom. And our own Sara Lacy was there, presenting a ‘TED-style’ 10-minute talk on her paper describing the development of a learning progression to teach 3rd-5th graders about energy.

Sara, a Senior Scientist at TERC, was one of the Summit 19 experts (of 50 participants) invited to submit a paper describing her research, opinions, and questions on the teaching and learning of energy. “Looking Through the Energy Lens: A Proposed Learning Progression for Energy in Grades 3-5”—coauthored with Roger Tobin, Marianne Wiser, and Sally Crissman (also of TERC)— details elementary student ideas about energy; four foundational concepts necessary to a scientific understanding of energy; a new framework for pre-college energy education; and instructional sequences for grades 3-5. Sara is currently the Principal Investigator for an affiliated project at TERC called  Rethinking How to Teach Energy: Laying the Foundations in Elementary School.

A second forum for the Energy Summit will focus on how educators are incorporating energy concepts into secondary science content and classrooms nationally and globally.

With this great news, welcome to 2013!


June 1, 2012

Drumroll, Please…

63,085 page views.

13,761 unique visitors from 103 countries.

13,237 video views.

3,955 public choice votes cast.

542 unique discussion posts.

The analytics have been studied.

The votes have been tallied.

And as of today, the  RESULTS ARE IN for the IGERT 2012 Online Video and Poster Competition!!!!!!!

In case you went off-grid on May 22nd-25th and missed the excitement—okay, we’re still really excited—check out all 113 videos and posters from this year’s talented batch of interdisciplinary science and engineering grad students in IGERT programs nationwide.

THEN filter and sort your way to the 25 awardees’ videos and posters. To whet your appetite, here is ‘Energy Textiles’—the triple-threat video and poster from Kristy Jost and Carlos Perez that netted the Judges’ Choice vote, the Community Choice vote, AND the Public Choice vote. Assuredly, Kristy’s and Carlos’ research significantly ups the possible applications of that tee-shirt you’re wearing…

Speaking of energy, the other awardee in the Public Choice category, Jesse Kohl, is researching how nano-engineering of photons (conventional light) into compressed volumes can result in greater energy efficiency for LEDs, solar cells, and lasers. Eureka!

While energizing fabric or harvesting light might sound like science of the future, these kinds of cross-disciplinary research applications are being investigated now in labs and classrooms across the country—and on the hub. So don’t be left in the dark and cold without an energy-storing tee—get a glimpse of these innovations of today before they’re the inventions of tomorrow!