Children

How Kids Teaching Kids Works in My Classroom

 

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

Visit a Petroleum Museum… They Tell Fascinating Stories!

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!  

Take the Wheel… Run an Energy4me Program!

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.

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

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.

Commonly-Used Energy “Slang” Terms Can Help Familiarity

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.

 

Summer Energy Adventures, Anyone?

How’s your summer? Taking any time to partake in energy education? Not only can cool energy sites like an offshore oil rig or a hydropower plant be fun, they can also be stimulating and enlightening!

This recent quest from the “Energy Ant,” who takes adventures combing for interesting energy-related sites of interest to students and teachers, gives insight into how learning is fun, relatable and interesting.  Here’s his journey to the Anadarko Drilling Rig to learn how a drilling rig works. Give it a read!

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We visited Kerr McGee’s oil-and-gas drilling rig (recently sold to Anadarko Petroleum)! Thanks to the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, we were able to see how a drilling rig works. The rig is powered by a huge diesel engine. Next to the rig, there is a little white building, called a doghouse, from where the drilling is monitored (and where rig workers take breaks!).

New technology is used in the oil industry all the time. One way drilling has become more efficient is through the use of directional drilling. At this site, this method was used to reach an oil reserve under a small wetland — instead of having to place the rig directly above the oil. And in the wetland, drillers were able to come in from the side without disturbing the wetland.

The stuff that comes up from the ground during drilling isn’t just oil, though. It is actually a mixture of oil, gas, and water. The mixture is sorted out by a three-phase separator, which has a computer run by a photovoltaic (solar) cell. After the oil is separated from the water and gas, the oil moves by pipeline to a refinery where it will be turned into products like gasoline, diesel fuel, and heating oil.

**Courtesy of the U.S. Energy Information Administration, http://www.eia.gov/

 What do you have planned this summer? 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.

SPE Education Day, Bangalore Section ( A Young Professionals Initiative)

 

Recently, the Young Professionals (YP) committee of SPE Bangalore Section organized an education day at Kendriya Vidyalaya in DRDO, Bangalore. The event was organized to guide school students interested in mathematics and science towards a career in the oil and gas sector which is one of the most exciting and challenging sectors. 

Students were treated to a day of energy education by the SPE Bangalore Section.

A team of seven people from SPE Bangalore section presented various options available to the students in oil and gas industry. The event received such overwhelming response that it had to be done twice to accommodate all the students. A total number of 150 students benefitted from the event.

The event began with the secretary of SPE Bangalore Section, Palvi Mech enlightening students about The Society of Petroleum Engineers, what it does and how it helps in the growth of oil and gas sector. This was followed by an overview of oil and gas sector by Jonathan Minz, Ashish Verma and Michelle Vishwanathan. The students were quite eager and enthusiastic throughout the presentation and repeatedly asked questions at regular intervals. 

Teachers are now interested in making the initiative a yearly event.

The overall event of around three hours was a new and exhilarating experience for the future budding engineers and scientists of Bangalore. It was a great success and the students were made aware of the various career options available to them in oil and gas industry. The students and teachers of Kendriya Vidyalaya especially appreciated the effort put by the YP committee and want this event to be a yearly calendar event.

Are you interested in holding a similar type of initiative? Find more information on how to do so here: http://www.energy4me.org/spe-volunteers/

Energy4me and National Science Education Standards

Author: Marva Morrow, Energy Education Ambassador

The natural world is filled with awe and wonder. It is in our nature to be curious about our world around us. Everyone deserves to share in the excitement and personal fulfillment that can come from understanding and learning about our natural world. In a world filled with the products of scientific inquiry, scientific literacy has become a necessity for everyone. We all need to use scientific information to make choices that arise every day.

According to an overview of the National Academies, Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering and Medicine, “The National Science Education Standards present a vision of a scientifically literate populace. The standards outline what students need to know, understand and be able to do to be scientifically literate at different grade levels. They describe an educational system in which all students demonstrate high levels of performance, in which teachers are empowered to make the decisions essential for effective learning, in which interlocking communities of teachers and students are focused on learning science, and in which supportive educational programs and systems nurture achievement. The Standards point toward a future that is challenging but attainable—which is why they are written in the present tense.”

The Energy4me lesson plans, designed for our Oil and Natural Gas book, are aligned with the aforementioned National Science Education Standards. The Standards emphasize both excellence and equity, and highlight the need to give students the opportunity to learn science.  Students cannot achieve high levels of performance without access to skilled professional teachers, adequate classroom time, a rich array of learning materials and the resources of the the communities surrounding their schools. Learning science is something that students must do through “hands-on” and “minds on” activities: a point of emphasis for Energy4me.

Energy4me lesson plans also support the 5E constructivist learning cycle, helping students build their own understanding from experiences and new ideas. The 5Es represent the five stages of a sequence for teaching and learning: Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaboration and Evaluate. The 5E model was developed by The Biological Science Curriculum Study (BSCS).

Download the Energy4me lesson plans and ‘hands-on-activities” and let us know what you think. Visit our classroom resources and get connected with classroom speakers, teacher workshops, classroom activities and materials and student events.                                                         

SPE’s Ghana Section is committed to energy education!

The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), Ghana section, is growing and gaining momentum! With a growing membership and an enthusiastic board, they have made the commitment to make a difference in the oil and gas industry while doing something good for their community. The Ghana section will be supporting 10 schools in Accra and 10 schools in Takoradi with energy education materials including energy4me books and kits as well as classroom presentations.

SPE encourages all its members and sections to educate the public about energy and put a face on the industry. Energy is a critical issue worldwide, and SPE believes face-to-face contact is the ideal way to spread the word about energy conservation, the future of the oil and gas industry, and its impact on the planet.

The energy4me books and kits donated to the Ghana section were sponsored by energy4me, SPE’s energy education outreach program, and Colin Black, SPE EIC member and Director, Optima Solutions UK Ltd.

SPE and energy4me would like to thank the Ghana section in their energy outreach initiatives. Together, we can make a difference by sharing the facts about energy with the public and putting a face on the industry.

Keep up the good work!

Learn more about energy and energy careers.

The picture to the right shows the SPE Ghana board members and British High Commissioner, Mr. Peter Jones.

Participate in America’s Home Energy Education Challenge!

Guest Author – Matthew Maguire Inman, Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow, United States Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy

It’s that time again: Back to school season is officially here! Time for students to prepare for the new experiences and challenges that they will encounter throughout the upcoming school year.

One such challenge—from the Department of Energy in partnership with the National Science Teachers Association—aims to tap into the creativity and enthusiasm of students across the country.

America’s Home Energy Education Challenge is designed to educate students in grades 3-8 about the benefits of energy efficiency, and motivate them to encourage their families and communities to put energy and money-saving ideas learned in the classroom into action at home.

“This exciting competition is designed to inspire the next generation of energy leaders to take simple and affordable steps today that will save money and get them thinking about energy issues at an early age,” said Energy Secretary Chu.

There are two ways for teachers, students and families to participate: The first is through the Home Energy Challenge and the second is through the Energy Fitness Award. Each is designed to encourage learning about science and energy with the added benefit of saving money by saving energy. The Home Energy Challenge encourages students to work with their families to reduce home energy use—monitoring energy savings over a three-month period. Schools with the highest number of points earned for reducing household energy usage, student participation, creativity and overall quality of their local energy savings program qualify for awards.

The Energy Fitness Award is a separate individualized educational challenge scheduled to begin September 20, 2011. Modeled after the President’s Physical Fitness Test, the Energy Fitness Award encourages students to complete specific tasks, such as interpreting a home energy bill and learning how to conduct a home energy assessment, and then demonstrate their learning and proficiency. The Energy Fitness Award will challenge students to become smart energy users. Each student who successfully completes the components of the Energy Fitness Award will receive an Energy Fitness Badge.

Participating schools and classrooms, as well as Home School networks, will compete within 11 regions for more than $200,000 in prizes distributed at the regional and national levels. Official registration for the Home Energy Education Challenge began August 15, and ends on October 7, 2011. Students are encouraged to register with their teachers by September 30, 2011 to take advantage of the full energy savings period.

For more information, visit the Home Energy Education Challenge website. And for more on how saving energy saves you money, visit the Energy Savers and Kids Saving Energy pages. Also, visit energy4me.org for tips on how you can save more energy at home!