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STEM Blog

Fuel for Thought: Building Energy Awareness

Welcome to a post that will have you investigating ways to help kids build energy awareness while making important  STEM connections. This post's author, Janet Ort, is an outstanding educator from the state of Alabama. She is also a past STEM Institute Fellow and has worked to promote numerous science and environmental programs at Hoover High School in Alabama.  Be sure to read upcoming Siemens STEM Academy blog posts to discover the other great resources for those interested in integrating technology in their STEM classroom! Don't miss out, perhaps now is a great time to sign up for an RSS feed and also follow us on twitter at SiemensSTEMAcad. Thanks for joining us at the Siemens STEM Academy and enjoy the post! - Mike Gorman (21centuryedtech)

So what do we do when it comes to energy, resources use, and climate? Do we stand on the high plateau of “The scientists said it so it must be true!”? Although that is where most of us have been secure in our lives, we have to address the students and their parents with in the frame of society. As we all have experienced in the past few years, and on the campaign trail this year, science has been called into question at the least and vilified at the worst. We have to equip our students to think critically and STEMatically.

I have been working with energy issues for several decades. I have looked at many curricular ideas and publications. I have never seen a more well thought out set of 5E based activities, inquiries, case studies, and experiments than the newly released Fuel for Thought: Building Energy Awareness just released by NSTA Press. It is available in print and digital formats as well as the two formats bundled together. Each section has STEM integrated into thought and actions. The sections stand alone or taken together can underpin a year’s worth of energy explorations. I think it is has substantiated another leg of my pedagogical tripod; along with water & biodiversity issues and environmental justice/ sustainability. Check it out!

About the Author: 

Janet Ort, Hoover, AL Hoover High School

Janet Ort, of Birmingham, Alabama, received her Master’s in Public Administration (Organizational Development and Policy) and her Master’s in Secondary Education with a concentration in Biology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.  She is an experienced teacher at Hoover High School with the current academic responsibilities of Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate Environmental Sciences, environmental science, and inclusion environmental science.  She coordinates and develops environmental research on the campus of Hoover H.S. and environmental competition teams. With lifelong interests and experiences in protecting biodiversity and sustainable energy issues, she is committed to developing scientifically literate students.   "Participating in the STEM Institute last summer was an exciting opportunity to enhance my teaching/mentoring and to develop materials to for the rest of our science faculty."

We sure hope you find your own unique connections.  Don't miss out on great posts and resources dedicated to STEM education. Now is a great time to sign up for an RSS feed and also follow us on twitter at SiemensSTEMAcad.  Have a great week and like Janet's wonderful energy message... start making your own STEMtastic learning connections. - Mike Gorman (21centuryedtech)

Posted on May 25, 2012 by Michael Gorman








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Meet the Contributors

Mike Gorman

Mike is an advocate for transforming education and bringing 21st Century Skills to classrooms. He was awarded Indiana STEM Educator of the Year and honored as a Microsoft 365 Global Education Hero.
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Lance Rougeux

Lance has been featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer and was recently highlighted in The Emergency Teacher, a book about urban teaching.
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Kyle Schutt

Kyle has worked with educators throughout the country to help them better understand how technology and digital media can be used to support instruction, motivate students, and increase passion for learning.
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