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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Alternative Energy Kits in the Science Classroom

The fourth grade has been exploring alternative energy sources as part of their Chemistry/Environment unit in science. Through a LAUNCH grant, I purchased 5 kits to pilot with this year's class so I could determine which educational kit would be the easiest for students to understand and be successful with. The kits we are working on include: Thames and Kosmos' Wind Power, Hydro Power and Fuel Cell Car Kits, along with Horizon Technology's Renewable Energy Kit, and Elenco's Snap Circuits' Green Kit. The students took on the challenge, and despite difficult directions (mostly geared toward adult readers), the fourth graders have problem solved, and teams have successfully constructed a working mill and a fuel cell car. Students are beginning to understand that there are sources of energy other than fossil fuels that we could be tapping and exploring in efforts to be more environmentally friendly! Our goal is to finish exploring the kits by the end of this month and have teams present their challenges and successes along with their recommendations so we can purchase the kits that support the best learning of the concepts presented in this unit.

-Maria Elena Derrien
LS Science

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