2019 Pittsburgh Extended Day Renewable Energy Inquiry and Engineering
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This project was made possible with funding from the Arconic Foundation. Arconic Foundation’s mission is to support non-profit partners who advance STEM Education and Workforce Development in Arconic communities. This is the second time that Pittsburgh has been a location for an Arconic workshop with CE. As it is the second round of delivery for this region, a focus on expanding the initial impact was made and the workshop was extended to two days. CE co-planned with workshop with the Allegheny Intermediate Unit to get a sense of how the initial workshop had impacted their curriculum and hands-on instruction.
On Day 1 of the workshop, teachers worked through various hands-on activities to bolster their knowledge of renewable energy, energy fundamentals, and electricity concepts. It was decided to provide background for everyone to ensure that teachers could dive into specific curricular work on the second day. In selecting the appropriate activities, there was a great deal of consideration given to how the work could be differentiated by the wide range of grade bands represented. The activities that were explored included solar circuits, Energy Theatre, and wind energy engineering. During lunch, the group was joined by Sara Walker, a Clean Energy Advisor from Duquesne Light for a guest presentation on local grid and renewable energy dynamics. On Day 2, teachers spent the morning discussing engineering principles and their relation to NGSS. At lunch, another guest presentation was given by Zero Fossil. In the afternoon, teachers worked in colleague cohorts to pinpoint areas of their yearlong plans that could use new curriculum and discussed specifically how resources from the workshop could be utilized. The specific curricular focus units for the afternoon were Melody Childers’ “Chemistry of Emergency Energy Sources” and Beverly Satterwhite’s “Mini Solar Homes.”