Watt's in the News? - Volume 12
In comparison, looking back on the 35+ years since I first started teaching, I truly believe we are going through a phase change in education. When I started teaching Google wasn't a verb, students weren't learning on YouTube University, and Siri wasn't standing by waiting as a virtual assistant, so as the classroom leader I was often looking up information and delivering content from the front of the room. As I started using energy as the theme for PBL in my Environmental Science classes, though, things started to change. Students became much more engaged when they were "doing" science for their projects and had a connection to the data we were studying. Now, the "magic" happens when students start to make the real-world connections to what they are learning and then share what they are learning with others. (They become Data Communicators/Storytellers.)
Now, utilizing the KidWind and BTU Crew activities, students can become the leading researchers and investigators in their own projects and the teacher can help guide and facilitate their learning. Collecting and analyzing data from small wind turbines in front of single fans in the classroom, scaling up to larger designs for testing in the wind tunnel, to then investigating all of the different energy sources and how we optimize their use in our daily lives, students are exposed to the BIG picture of the energy industry. Energy is the lifeblood of our society and vital to our quality of life. As I look at discussions at the national and international levels today, I can't think of a more relevant topic for engaging students in a way that includes all subject areas. Have fun and good luck if you have student teams competing in these KidWind Challenge events!
*New Research Finds Lack of Data Literacy Undermines Business Performance. (2022, March 15). Retrieved from https://www.tableau.com/about/press-releases/2022/new-data-literacy-research