K-12 Featured Curriculum

CISTAR EWD and the INSPIRE Research Institute for Pre-College Engineering co-developed a 9-lesson unit for eighth-grade science curriculum titled, “Turn the Lights On: Providing Energy to New Albany.”

Turn the lights on 8th grade promotional image with EngrTeams and CISTAR logos and image of lightbulb

In this unit, students are taught the mathematical and scientific concepts related to electrical energy and renewable resources by incorporating an engineering design challenge. Videos explaining the curricula and step-by-step instructions for implementation are available on the nanoHUB website and on Teachers Pay Teachers. Curriculum kits with the required materials for implementing the activities will be available to check out starting in Summer 2022. For more information contact Maeve Drummond Oakes maeve@purdue.edu

About the Turn the Lights On! Curriculum

In this unit, students are taught the mathematical and scientific concepts related to electrical energy and renewable resources by incorporating an engineering design challenge. At the outset of the unit, students are introduced to power generation and the client, the members of Indiana Office of Energy Development, who need to determine a new power generation system that will effectively reduce contamination of chemical releases in the environment. Students use what they know about electrical energy and renewable resources to develop a strategy to test for electrical power generating systems. Finally, students write a final letter, including their designs and design justifications, to pitch their experimental design to the client.

STEM connections

Science Connections

Technology & Engineering Connections

Mathematics Connections

Chemical and physical changes

Kinetic and potential energy

Variance energy

Electrical energy

Ecosystem and biodiversity

Renewable and non-renewable resources

Complete full engineering design process, including problem scoping (define and learn about the problem), solution generation (plan, try/build, test, decide about a solution), redesign, and communication of final design to client.

Use of  instruments such as anemometer, thermometer etc.

 

Proportional reasoning

Representing graphics and analyzing diagrams

Collecting and representing data

 

OVERARCHING SKILLS THAT STUDENTS WILL LEARN:

  • Maintaining an engineering design notebook 
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Data analysis 
  • Iteration