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Watt's in the News? - Volume 12

This article by internationally best-selling author Bernard Marr shines a spotlight on the growing need and opportunities for students in the area of data analytics. The need for data analytics skills reaches across all industries, so these are skills that all students should be learning.

This is a short video (5 min.) where the author shares his thoughts from this article:

"Data Skills - By 2025, 70% of the jobs will involve working directly with data."*

Aligning with the goal of bringing career awareness and exploration to students at earlier grade levels and then following up with more advanced career training opportunities, STEM events like the KidWind Challenge provide students with opportunities for a fun hands-on approach to learning. They don't just study science, they get to "do" science. What a great way to learn how to collect and analyze data and then use it to make data-driven decisions. Now we are teaching problem solving and critical thinking!

Having moved from the Industrial Age into the Information Age, information and details are now available to students literally in seconds. The question is - What can students do with this information after they have it? This is where the fun starts as now learning goes way beyond just looking something up to fill in the blank on an assignment. Now, students have to THINK!

Looking at the full spectrum of the energy industry, for generating electricity the "magic" happens at 212 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature at which water goes through the phase change and becomes steam.


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

Tate Honaker

Meet Dan WhislerTrane Educator in Residence

Tate Honaker

Meet Bill NelsonTrane Educator in Residence

Learn more about Trane's STEM Education Programs