We started the lesson by demonstrating how energy transfers work in a solar-powered propeller. I used a lamp as the energy source and explained the energy transfers as follows: electrical energy comes through the cord of the lamp and gets converted into light energy (and heat energy is a byproduct). Then, the solar panels convert the light energy into electrical energy which travels through a cord to a motor. There, it is converted into motion energy as the motor spins the propeller. One final byproduct is sound energy that is created as the motor rubs against its casing and the propeller cuts through the air.
I showed my students how to write our energy transfers on a graphic organizer, and explained how they should use arrows to clarify the sequence. Next, I taught them how to use their laptops to record a video on PhotoBooth where they explained all of the energy transfers as they demonstrated them for their audience. Finally, I gave them directions for naming and uploading their videos to our classroom YouTube channel.
I randomly partnered my students and sent them on their way! Instead of having a set time limit at their first station, I observed the kiddos and asked how many people needed more time. When most were ready, I gave them a two minute warning and then had them rotate. I did this for all of the rotations and noticed that the amount of time at each station got shorter and shorter as their practice made them more confident.
As I observed my class, I noticed that many partnerships were having trouble finding all of the energy forms for their toys. Since this is being used as a summative assessment, I reminded them often to try to make sure that they have all of the energy forms for each station and to use the posters that were hanging up in class as a reminder. The videos did begin to improve at that point.
Overall, I am very pleased with their products from these two class periods. I think that most students enjoyed the opportunity to use technology while teaching the world about science. I've identified the following 21st Century skills being practiced by the students in this lesson. Can you identify where the following skills are being demonstrated (or are happening in their minds) in the two videos at the bottom of this post?
- Communicate Clearly
- Collaborate with Others
- Think Interdependently
- Think Creatively
- Work Creatively with Others
- Apply Past Knowledge to New Situations
- Think Critically
- Make Judgments and Decisions
- Solve Problems
- Reflect and Synthesize
- Think and Learn Flexibly
- Demonstrate Learning Through All Intelligence Pathways
- Manage Goals and Time
- Be a Risk-Taker
- Be Self-Directed Learners
- Be Curious
- Interact Effectively with Others
- Work Effectively in Diverse Teams
- Find Humor
- Produce Results
- Guide and Lead Others
- Be Responsible to Yourself and Others
- Create Media Products
- Apply Technology Effectively
Here are two of our videos. Try to pick out the 21st Century skills listed above:
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