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International Approaches To Renewable Energy Education –A Faculty Professional DevelopmentCase Study With Recommended PracticesFor STEM Educators

Calls for increased international competency in U.S. college graduates and the global nature of the renewable energy industry require an exploration of how to incorporate a global perspective in STEM curricula, and how to best develop faculty providing them with global knowledge and skills necessary to update and improve existing teaching practices. To expand awareness of the global renewable energy sector, a cohort of renewable energy educators from across the United States participated in two international learning exchanges to Australia/New Zealand and Germany/Denmark. The exchanges provided opportunities for the participants to meet with technical educators, visit teaching labs, review industry partnerships, talk with policy makers and government representatives, and to share knowledge and best teaching practices. Three years after the initial international exchange, participant data was collected to measure the extended impact of the experience and the perceived value of various learning activities. The results show that the exchanges expanded participant’s knowledge of renewable energy technologies and issues both in the U.S. and abroad, and also influenced teaching curriculum and instruction, and academic community engagement. This study serves as a model program for providing STEM faculty with rich international experience. The findings in this manuscript highlight the key components to building a successful international professional development program, and illustrate the type of impacts that can result from these activities. The lessons learned are meaningful to other institutions or organizations planning similar international activities in a variety of disciplines. Read More

Brian Cox experiments: Primary science

Education in science and mathematics should develop the natural intellectual curiosity and creativity of young people. Creative and experimental approaches will be particularly important for keeping students interested and engaged in science, and for equipping them well for the future, whether or not they pursue a career in science. To support this activity in primary schools, Brian Cox, the Society’s Professor for Public Engagement in Science, presents a series of video resources to increase teachers’ confidence with experimental science and relate the experiments to the real world. The resources support six experiments across the primary science curriculum, and each written resource is supported by four videos: Set up video: this video explains what has to be prepared for the experiment in advance and what health and safety concerns should be considered for a risk assessment. This is for teachers to view in advance of running the experiment. Experiment video: this video shows the experiment taking place, gives examples of common areas where students make mistakes and outlines how to address these. This for teachers to view in advance of running the experiment. Real life video: this video gives an example of a real life context where the experiment topic is relevant, allowing students to understand how the activity they have done is important. This is for teachers to show as part of the class activities. Research video: this video gives an example of current research in an area related to the topic of the experiment, allowing students to see what scientists look like and understand what kind of areas they could investigate if they continue in science. This is for teachers to show as part of the class activities. Read More

Dig Into Mining

Dig Into Mining – The Story of Copper is an interactive educational program for students grades 6-8 that uncovers the use of metals such as copper in our everyday life, and provides students a deeper understanding of today’s hard rock mining industry. The initiative equips educators, students and families with dynamic resources – including a virtual field trip, interactive digital learning tools, and school-to-home connections – designed to give students a front row seat to nature’s geological wonders and inspire further exploration of the world around them. Read More

Molybdenum (alternative mineral mining)

Hands-on teaching activity describing molybdenum, a key mineral nutrient. Read More

Resources for Teaching Large Classes

A resource for teaching large classes (focus in geosciences). Read More

Earth Right Now (NASA)

NASA uses the vantage point of space to increase our understanding of our home planet, improve lives, and safeguard our future. We monitor Earth’s vital signs from land, air and space with a fleet of satellites and ambitious airborne and ground-based observation campaigns. NASA develops new ways to observe and study Earth’s interconnected natural systems with long-term data records. The agency freely shares this unique knowledge and works with institutions around the world. Scientists worldwide use NASA data to tackle some of the biggest questions about how our planet is changing now and how Earth could change in the future. From rising sea levels to the changing availability of freshwater, NASA enables studies that unravel the complexities of our planet from the highest reaches of Earth’s atmosphere to its core. NASA’s Earth science work also makes a difference in people’s lives around the world every day. From farms to our national parks, from today’s response to natural disasters to tomorrow’s air quality, from the Arctic to the Amazon, NASA is working for you 24/7. NASA’s expertise in space and scientific exploration contributes to essential services provided to the American people by other federal agencies, such as weather forecasting and natural resource management. All of this new knowledge about our home planet enables policy makers, government agencies and other stakeholders to make more informed decisions on critical issues that occur all around the world. Read More

Data Nuggets

Data Nuggets are an innovative approach to bring authentic, cutting edge research and data into the classroom, revealing to students how the process of science really works and increasing the connections between scientists and the public. Data Nuggets give students practice interpreting quantitative information and making claims based on evidence. Students are challenged to answer a scientific question using data to support their claim, and are guided through the construction of graphs to facilitate data interpretation. Because of their simplicity and flexibility, they can be used throughout the school year as students build confidence in their quantitative skills. Data Nuggets have the potential to improve the understanding of science in society and help train and motivate the next generation of scientists and engineers. Read More

NOVA Labs

Labs in the Classroom There are many ways to bring NOVA Labs into your classroom, after school program, day camp, or other educational program. Every Lab presents a particular subject and allows teens to develop their own questions and investigations around that subject. Each Lab includes an activity where you will explore a new data set and/or scientific phenomenon. While the challenges will vary—some being more open-ended, others being more structured and game-like—they will all encourage users to conduct their own scientific analyses and investigations. Videos Each Lab comes with a collection of free videos that provide the background information that will help users succeed in the Lab’s research challenge. The concepts explored in these videos range from the basic to the more nuanced and complex. Together, they are intended to give users a solid foundation in the relevant scientific principles and an understanding of why each area of research matters. Opportunities and Resources For each Lab, we provide a list of related opportunities and career exploration resources relevant to teens. Teens will find internships, scholarship, science competitions, and other ways to stay involved in science on the “Opportunities” page. Community and Social Feed In addition to making new content and data available and accessible, NOVA Labs provides an online community on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, in which you can share, ask questions, or learn about recent observations or ideas that have come up in the various fields of research. An Educator Guide For each Lab, we provide additional ideas and materials for educators that are specific to that Lab and subject area. Read More

Climate Education for K-12

This website is designed to help educators understand climate and weather concepts and to be able to incorporate the learning material from this site into their course curriculum using examples as aids for learning. It is also useful for anyone else who wants a basic understanding of weather and climate, especially in the southeastern United States. Read More

Exploring Ecosystems

Exploring Ecosystems is an educational video series that engages learners in problem solving scenarios as they investigate diverse ecosystems around the globe. Read More

Mission

EERL's mission is to be the best possible online collection of environmental and energy sustainability resources for community college educators and for their students. The resources are also available for practitioners and the public.

EERL & ATEEC

EERL is a product of a community college-based National Science Foundation Center, the Advanced Technology Environmental and Energy Center (ATEEC), and its partners.

Contact ATEEC 563.441.4087 or by email ateec@eicc.edu