Friday, March 14, 2014

You are My Sunshine. My only Sunshine. You make me happy when…..

The next verse of the song You are my Sunshine states "when skies are grey, but on March 1st at the SMUD Solar Schoolhouse workshop for educators, the sun also made us happy because it helped us to charge our smart phones.

There were 30 educators who attended the SMUD Solar Schoolhouse workshop for educators on March 1, 2014. The hands-on training was designated for 6th thru 12th grade educators, community college educators, and Out-of School-Time educators. It was at this five-hour training that Tor Allen of the Solar Schoolhouse, a leader in energy education, informed those in attendance that increasing the solar literacy in schools is an important step toward a clean-energy future.

"As we learn more about the effects of our current fossil-fuel-based energy habits, getting reacquainted with the sun, the primary energy source on Earth, is rich with hope and possibilities," Allen said. "Raising students' solar IQ will not only prepare them to be active participants in creating and adopting clean-energy solutions going forward, but it will also open them up to numerous college and career pathways. If we are going to prepare our kids for the future, we need to show them what jobs the future holds. They need to be proactive members of society and trying to keep them on the cutting edge would mean providing them a better advantage when it comes time to make a college (area of study) or career choice later on."

Teachers were provided with the materials to not only make a solar pizza box oven, but also solar-charging lunchbox kit that included a charging port for cellphones and other small electronic devices. Participants had to assemble the components.

These types of activities that we we as educators took part in and will take back to our respective school sites to facilitate will challenge our students to do a higher-level of thinking, one that is also centered on project-based learning. The solar pizza box oven and the solar mp3 charger activities incorporate the following five learning principles 1) Learning that is Active 2) Learning that is Collaborative 3) Learning that is Meaningful 4) Learning that supports Mastery and 5) Learning that expands Horizons. These five LIAS principles are also heavily rooted in Common Core State Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, and Habits of the Mind.

The SMUD educator workshops have concluded for the current academic year, but they will start up again in the Fall of 2014. Sign up to receive the SMUD newsletter and you will be alerted for the 2014-2015 educator workshops.

Solar charger for MP3 player that we created at the SMUD workshop.
Here is what has been taking place in Region 3s Out-of-School-Time Programs. The following reports were submitted by either site coordinators who facilitated the activities or by the students who took part in the activities.

Name of Out-of-School-Time Provider: Roberts Family Development Center

Name of District: Twin Rivers Unified School District

Grade Level of Activity: 3rd thru 12th grade

Number of students who took part in the activity: 20

Type of Activity: Javelin Rockets from CA Teacher Pathway

Learning Outcomes- Students were able to: 

  • construct and fly paper rockets
  • investigate launch angels versus distance with their rockets
  • students will apply their understanding of Newton's laws of motion to design a game or activity for a microgravity environment
  • collect data points that they will be able to plot on an X and Y axis graph
  • locate the launch angle of their rocket
  • discuss what made their rockets fly either shorter or longer distances
  • discuss what made their rockets fly the way that they did
Contact: Imani Lucas with any further questions that you may have about this activity. His email address is:

Ms. Ada is facilitating the Javelin Rockets lesson.
The young men from the Roberts Family Development Center are displaying their  rockets they created.
Anthony is proudly displaying his rocket that he created.
STEM Articles:

STEM Activities/Videos/Websites/Podcast:

5) PI Day Lesson Plans (Lesson Plan)

8) Bohart Museum of Entomology (Traveling Museum)

STEM Profesional Development Opportunities:

1) Gopher Sports Webinar Meet Your ASES Physical Activity Requirements 
     (March 19 1:00 PM PST)

2) Techbridge Girls Summer Institute for Educators (July 30 - August 1, 2014 in Oakland)

    (July 18, 19, and 26, 2014)

    (K-7 but materials can be adapted for 8-12)

6) Forestry Institute For Teachers (June and July 2014 dates)

STEM/Misc./Events/ Grants/ Contest:

2) Teichert Foundation Grants (August 2014 Deadline)

4) Batters Up USA (Baseball and Softball Gear) (Open until all materials handed out)

Thanks again for all that you do in the field. Please keep us posted about STEM events/activities in your area. Please feel free to contact us at any time.

Monica Gonzalez-William (SCOE: Region 3: After School Regional Lead)

Phil Romig: (SCOE: Science Curriculum Specialist) @

Mark Drewes: (SCOE: Project Specialist II: After School) @

P.S. Here is an alternate recording of You Are My Sunshine by Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan

No comments:

Post a Comment