Work in Progress - Introducing Solar Energy Engineering in an Australian Middle Elementary School
Leon de la Barra, BA and Wilson, KL, Work in Progress - Introducing Solar Energy Engineering in an Australian Middle Elementary School, Proc 2011 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, 12-15 Oct, Rapid City, South Dakota, USA, pp. 1-2. ISBN 978-1-61284-467-1 (2011) [Refereed Conference Paper]
This paper describes preliminary results in the development and implementation of a new inquiry- and standards-based solar energy unit for a grade 3/4 composite class at an elementary school in Hobart, the capital city of the state of Tasmania, Australia. This new unit is being developed in close cooperation between an experienced elementary classroom teacher and an engineering lecturer who is actively involved in a number of K-12 collaborative partnerships that seek to excite students about their learning experiences in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields. As part of the 2011 delivery of the new solar energy unit, the research team has explored elementary students’ perceptions of science, scientists and technology by using the Draw-a-Scientist-Test (DAST). Later this year, the Draw-an-Engineer-Test (DAET) will also be administered. The conference presentation will include the results of applying the DAST before and after the delivery of the new solar energy unit. It will also describe the hands-on activities and teaching resources developed through this partnership, and provide a reflective account on how such a partnership provided students with rewarding learning experiences in Solar Energy Engineering. The work to be presented at the conference will not only appeal to those with an interest in how some key central ideas in Solar Energy Engineering can be introduced at mid-elementary level but to anyone who is interested in productively engaging with schools and teachers with a focus on the STEM fields
Refereed Conference Paper
Hands-on minds-on activities; solar energy; school outreach models.