Wednesday, March 11, 2009

NEED - National Energy Education Development

The NEED Project is an educational program designed to teach students about energy consumption, energy sources, and the energy industry in general. NEED provides curriculum and lesson plans for teachers in all grades form elementary school through high school. The educators section of NEED makes all of their lessons with require materials available as PDF files.

The student section of NEED offers students science fair project ideas, games, and puzzles.

Applications for Education
NEED provides a wide range of activities for students in all grades to learn about the science of energy consumption and energy sources.

MeeHive - Your Custom News Homepage

MeeHive is a customizable homepage for viewing the news that interests you most. What sets MeeHive apart from similar customizable homepage services is that you can connect to other users and share stories. You can also share your favorite MeeHive stories on Twitter from your MeeHive homepage. MeeHive pulls stories not only from the big and popular media outlets but also from places like Twitter and YouTube.

Here's how MeeHive works. After creating your account select news from a wide range of categories and subcategories. You may select as many categories and subcategories as you like. For instance, I selected sports news, business news, and US News. After selecting sports news I selected the subcategories of NBA basketball and MLB baseball and I finally entered the names of my favorite teams (Celtics and Red Sox in case anyone has tickets to give away). MeeHive will then search the web to find all of the most recent stories for each of your selected topics. You can also add RSS feeds from your favorite blogs and websites to be displayed on your MeeHive page.

Embedded below is a video introduction to MeeHive.

Meehive Intro from Meehive on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
MeeHive could be a good homepage for students in current events courses to keep up with the latest news. If your course requires students to maintain a blog,
MeeHive could be used to view and grade all of your students' work in one place. MeeHive does allow you to keep your page private or share it with the world.

Free US History Course from Stanford via iTunes

Once again through the great Open Culture blog, I learned about a free Stanford University course being published on iTunes U. Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Jack Rakove is teaching a course about Colonial and Revolutionary America. The course will cover all of the topics typical of early American history survey courses. You can find the course here or look in the Stanford section of iTunes U. When the course is complete there will be 30 lectures available, currently there are seven lecutures posted.

Applications for Education
This course will cover topics that students have heard about from elementary school history teachers through high school history teachers. iTunes U provides high school students with an opportunity to learn in more depth about topics with which they are already familiar.

Wind and Solar Power Estimation Activities

SEREF, the Solar Energy Research and Education Foundation, has built a couple of tools that could be of interest to science teachers. SEREF has an energy estimation tool that allows you to estimate the potential solar and wind energy of any location. To use the estimation tool you have to enter your location using a Google Map and input the size of the solar panels or wind turbine stucture. The potential energy is then calculated based on climate, latitude, and typical weather patterns.

SEREF has recently released a Google Earth file that illustrates an estimation of potential jobs in the solar energy industry between now and 2016. You can see the file in your browser here or download the file here.

Applications for Education
The SEREF energy estimator offers teachers and opportunity to create a lesson using science, mathematics, and geography concepts. Students can use the estimation tool to discover the solar and wind energy potential of their location then make and test a hypothesis about other locations. Students can also experiment with the size of solar panels and the angle to the sun to see what the potential change in energy would be.

Student Discussion - Education Reform Ideas

Today's episode of CNN Student News leads off with a segment about President Obama's proposed ideas for education reform in the United States. The video provides teachers with a good opportunity to have students discuss what they perceive as working or not working in their schools. After watching the video you may want to have students propose their own ideas for improving education in the United States. The video is embedded below.