Teaching the Fundamentals of Energy in a Hands-on Manner with Carolina’s Building Blocks of Science® A New Generation: Energy Works Kit

Energy- The thing that makes everything work. How do you explain something so fundamental to young students? You can’t touch it, you can’t see it, you can only observe the effects it creates. Learning about an intangible entity like energy requires practically learning. The Energy Works Kit offered by Carolina aims to achieve just that. The kit helps define energy and enables the instructors to dive into various types of energy and how we use them.

The kit offers equipment and apparatus sufficient for a class of 30 students. The 6 lessons that make up the program take students through concepts of how Energy flows, how machines work with energy, and how Energy can be harnessed. Various models of machines are built throughout the program to shed light on how different kinds of energies work. Already adopted by most schools in the GCC, the Energy Works Kit is already a favourite.

The 6 lessons take the students through the following:

1- Where does energy come from?

Lesson number 1, “Where do you get your energy?” explores all the different sources we get our energy from. How it is harnessed and how it is used in making things work. The lesson is spent observing and taking note of all the different kinds of energies used by the students and present in their environment. This enables the students to understand the concept of energy and apply it to their immediate surroundings. The first-hand experience of different types of energies also enables the students in understanding how energy changes from one form to another.

2 – About Potential Energy & Kinetic Energy

Potential energy & kinetic energy are the 2-broad classification of energies. Learning about them and understanding their effects on objects allows the students to develop a deeper understanding of all kinds of energies. Kinetic Energy is moving and Potential Energy is a type of energy that is stored in various forms. Several activities are conducted in this lesson to create a differentiation between these broad classifications. The activities enable the students to learn even further of the kinds of energies that exist around them.

3 – How energy is converted to different forms.

Conservation of Energy is a fundamental law. This concept is taught to the students through the different forms energy is found in. Since, energy is neither created nor destroyed it moves from one form to another and thus changing matter in the process. This lesson focuses on identifying instances where energy changes forms. Investigating different forms of energy enables the students to understand how energy is converted and transformed to different types that they experience in their daily lives.

4 – Energy in water waves

Water waves as in motion experience the Kinetic form of energy, making the water move in a particular manner. Observing interaction of energy in water gives the learners a wider understanding of how energy affects objects. Interference and wave patterns teach them how energy affects other energies as well. Waves as a medium are explored in this lesson and since they form the base of all energy transfers, this develops a deeper understanding of energy in the curriculum.

5 – Alternate forms of energy sources

In this lesson the students learn of the alternate forms of energies such as wind, solar, geothermal energy as alternatives to fossil fuel as a primary source of energy. Various advantages and disadvantages are pointed out for these alternative energy sources and the students create models for wind and water energy harnessing. The students learn how their apparatus transfers wind and water energy into mechanical energy that is usable.

6 – What has been learnt about energy?

In this lesson the students look back to what they’ve understood about energy and the way it interacts with the world. Team projects are worked on enabling the students to apply the information they’ve gained throughout the course. Presentation of projects takes place, giving students the opportunity to explain their work to the rest of the students.

Teaching young students with practical applications enables them to develop a deeper understanding of the subject. Kits created by Carolina achieve this by making education and learning an involving experience. With several educational institutions from the Middle East in countries like UAE including Dubai, having adopted the kits, the young students are now learning even the most complex concepts practically.

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