April 14, 2020
Teachers Re-Energized as Students Learn About Electricity Online
The Story Behind the Switch Sessions Online
Contributor: Michelle Pastor, Senior Education Program Advisor
I manage the education programs for Tri-State where my typical day includes time spent in local schools for The Story Behind the Switch, an interactive classroom session on electricity and science. I feel energized every time a student’s eyes light up as they finally master a complex concept, or a child smiles with pride as he answers a tough question. One of the best parts of my day is interacting with students and celebrating these a-ha moments! Available at no cost to students and teachers in Tri-State’s members’ service territories.To schedule a session, contact your local rural electric cooperative or PPD or Michelle Pastor at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bringing the Classroom to Kids at Home
My time spent in the classroom has changed with the new stay-at-home directive. Teachers have been tasked with creating these same experiences, but they have the added challenge of doing so remotely. To help out, I’ve created an online version of The Story Behind the Switch. My goal is to continue those aha moments and spark fascination with electricity remotely. Especially now while most kids are out of class during home for stay-at-home orders.
I’m bringing the science of energy to students in an engaging and participative session filled with oohs and aahs as students see the plasma ball light up and discover the science behind the electricity inside. They’ll be shocked to see electricity jump through the air with the Van de Graaff generator. We’ll also explore:
- Power generation by wind, solar, hydro and fossil fuels
- Renewable vs. nonrenewable resources
- Energy efficiency
- The path of electricity from the power plant to the home
- Conductors vs. insulators
- Electrical safety
- Electric cooperative career paths
NEED Conference - Science That Sparks
Teachers, once we are able to gather together again, you may be interested in a summer conference to help you implement hands-on STEM lessons in your classroom. Tri-State and its member systems, in conjunction with The National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project, offer STEM curriculum regarding the science of energy, sources of energy, electricity efficiency and more, to provide educators with the most up-to-date information on all aspects of energy.
The conference is June 23-25, 2020 at Tri-State headquarters in Westminster, Colorado and is available to 4th-12th grade teachers who are consumers of Tri-State’s member systems. Educators will receive a hands-on Science of Energy kit for the classroom ($300 value), professional development credit and assistance meeting math and language arts Common Core Standards. Best of all, most travel expenses are covered by Tri-State and your electric cooperative or PPD, including lodging, meals, and transportation.