The funny thing is that school classrooms are being asked to incorporate more and more technology. I've really been trying and almost all of the lessons that I have delivered on energy have been introduced with information that I have put onto a platform called Google Classroom.
The funny part was that even though the students enjoyed the technology, they really loved the hand-on experience that they were able to participate in as they created their own wind powered device, the simple pinwheel. Just being able to read and follow directions, do their own drawing and cutting and ending up with something that worked was so satisfying to them. They are, after all, children!
Our second project last week was a bit more involved. Each student designed their own wind powered car using the materials found in the picture below, along with tape to hold things together.
Once each student had a labelled plan they became a partner in a team that would only build one car.
The art of compromise came into play. The language was rich! This team decided that they would use the bottom of one design and the top of the other! They were truly communicating their ideas in a collaborative fashion!
The second part of the project was to see how far the wind powered car would go with three blows through a straw. This step incorporated measuring into the picture.
Some cars didn't move at all. Some moved a little and others zoomed along. Another opportunity for rich discussion as the students puzzled over their designs and how they could be modified.
Although the lessons are based on science concepts and energy facts, the reality is that the best learning is happening because of those 21st Century skills being practised: creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking. We added compromise today!!