aapt_program_final_sm13 - page 53

July 13–17, 2013
Monday morning
Session AJ: Labs and Activities for
Location: Nines Hotel – Gallery 2
Sponsor: Committee on Laboratories
Co-Sponsor: Committee on Science Education for the Public
Date: Monday, July 15
Time: 8–10 a.m.
Presider: Steve Lindaas
8-8:30 a.m. Renewable Energy and Sustainability at
Gustavus Adolphus College
Invited – Charles F. Niederriter, Gustavus Adolphus College, 800 West
College Ave., Saint Peter, MN 56082;
James Dontje, Jeffrey Jeremiason, Colleen Jacks, Gustavus Adolphus
We live in an era when student interest in energy, sustainability, and the
environment is increasing, as it becomes clear that our current production
and consumption of energy negatively impacts the environment and raises
a number of potentially significant challenges for the future. Gustavus
has taken advantage of this trend by integrating renewable energy and
sustainability experiences into introductory science classes in order to
increase interest and enthusiasm for science. We have found that this is an
excellent way to educate students about this important area while teaching
quantitative skills. We will report on our NSF-CCLI funded program, in-
cluding new laboratory experiences in ground source geothermal heating,
photovoltaics, solar thermal, fuel cells, wind turbines, and energy content
of fuels. We will also report on efforts funded by other foundations and
the college, such as campus-wide energy conservation projects, Gustavus’
rooftop solar thermal and photovoltaic arrays, and our composter/green-
house combination.
8:30-9 a.m. Inquiry-based Investigations Using Wind
Generators and Solar Panels
Invited – Jeremy Benson, Northern Illinois University, STEM Outreach, 307
Lowden Hall, DeKalb, IL 60115;
Environmental sustainability and green energy are popular topics in and
out of today’s classroom. In this session, we’ll take a look at some hands-on
activities and tools available to actively engage students in the study of
alternative energy sources. Investigations into building wind generators
and experiments with solar power can easily be tailored to suit elementary,
middle or high school students depending on the concepts included. We’ll
also discuss ways to relate these activities back to other scientific topics
being discussed, such as work and power as well as basic electricity and
9-9:30 a.m. Using Mathematical Modeling to Under-
stand the Complexities Between Energy and Society
Invited – Pat Keefe, Clatsop Community College, 1651 Lexington Ave., Asto-
ria, OR 97103;
Greg Mulder, Linn-Benton Community College
The issues related to energy in our society can be complex. Understanding
basic relationships between energy production, population, and lifestyles
can stimulate greater discussion and deeper exploration into energy and
our society. We will discuss two spreadsheet modeling exercises that can
be used in a variety of classes, seminars, and workshop formats in order to
motivate students toward a better understanding of energy and its impact
upon our global society.
9:30-9:40 a.m. An Interdisciplinary, Project-based Class
in Sustainable Energy
Contributed – David P. Feldman, College of the Atlantic, 105 Eden St., Bar
Harbor, ME 04609;
Anna E. Demeo, College of the Atlantic
We have developed and taught an interdisciplinary, project-based course
on the physics and mathematics of sustainable energy. The course’s only
prerequisite is high school algebra. Students do a significant solutions-
based, hands-on group project. This engages learners, teaches practical
skills, and helps lessen feelings of despair that some students experience
when learning about energy and climate change. We emphasize back-of-
the-envelope calculations and estimations, so that students gain a feel for
energy units. We include a unit on basic financial mathematics, including
the time value of money, discounting, and the payback time of an invest-
ment. This knowledge is essential for seeking funding for a renewable
energy project. We believe that the mix of topics and activities in our class
teaches important STEM content and well serves students who want to
advocate for sustainable energy use. We are writing a textbook based on
our course.
9:40-9:50 a.m. A Quantitative Comparison of Four
Different Lighting Types
Contributed – Stephen A. Minnick, Kent State University, Tuscarawas, 330
University Drive NE, New Philadelphia, OH 44663;
Most students have little idea of the differences between the four basic
types, incandescent, CFL, LED, and halogen, of household light bulbs
being marketed. In order to drive home these differences and demonstrate
the tradeoffs between lighting quality, efficiency, and costs, a new labora-
tory experiment has been developed suitable for high school and under-
graduate students in basic science courses. For each lighting type, various
quantities such as input power, light output, and efficiency are measured
and then compared. Light quality from each bulb is determined by using
inexpensive spectroscopes.
9:50-10 a.m. Sustainability and Energy Consumption:
Course Module for High School Students
Contributed – Anindya Roy, UC Santa Barbara, Materials Department, Santa
Barbara, CA 93106-5050;
Ms. Melissa Woods from Santa Barbara High School and I worked together
to develop part of a course named “Green Engineering,” which she is teach-
ing in 2012-13 to advanced high school students. Some of the main goals
of the first quarter were to help students understand the basic terminolo-
gies regarding energy, power etc., and about solar photovoltaics in greater
detail. In the process, they learned how to handle a different system of
units, performed in-class research to find solar generation potential in
California, filled out an online spreadsheet in real time to find approximate
energy consumption and compared it with their classmates, and made
raspberry solar cells. This exercise brought physics ideas in active, fun, and
tangible forms to the students. And we learned this to be an effective way
to teach them about more involved sociological concepts; e.g., the variation
of individual energy consumption with socioeconomic status.
8-9 a.m. Paper Straw Pan Pipes and Oboes and
their Standing Waves
Contributed – Daniel MacIsaac, Buffalo State College, 1300 Elmwood Ave.,
Buffalo, NY 14222;
Make beautiful music in your class with these simple to make instruments.
We will make both straw pan pipes and paper straw oboes. We will look at
the physics of sound illustrated by these cheap and easy instruments. This
activity has been done with Grade 3 students to in-service teachers.
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