This best practice reports an open schooling initiative about energy saving whose objective was to educate students about making choices when it comes to buying devices to help save energy.
This initiative was developed by Manchester Communications Academy located in Manchester.
There were 60 students who completed the science action Energy Savers.
Students interacted with their families and accessed videos from scientists.
CARE: students were very involved with the activity and I would have liked to have had more time. It worked well for sowing the seeds of curiosity, they were very engaged
KNOW: The activity helped to increase their confidence in science; however the challenge was the time limit. To help teaching the lesson can be delivered in 3-4 lessons and students can do task 1 of the DO stage at home.
DO: The activity asked students to:
Task 1: Calculate the efficiency of three different solar panels.
Task 2: Design a fundraising page for an energy-saving device
It was noticed the importance of having the required level of skill to adequately access the outcome task. Some suggestions for helping students are to:
Model how to calculate the efficiency of one solar panel, that they can do the others.
Make sure this Science Action is used after teaching about energy transfers and efficiency so students have required background knowledge.
Findings: The activity support students learning and it fit well with the curriculum. The topics related to the curriculum are energy transfers and wasted energy.
Outcomes: Meaningful discussions about Energy savers and research skills developed.
Teachers can further expand student outcomes by getting students to find out about real engineers who have designed energy saving devices. Students can also design their own devices.
Fifty students contributed to the open schooling research questionnaires. They mentioned that they would like to do more activities like this one. Most students practiced various skills including discussions and asking questions. They liked to work in groups with friends, practical activities, doing experiments and becoming more confident.
More details of our report: on this link