June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
Energy Conversion and Conservation
15.1235.1 - 15.1235.8
The Impact of Active Learning during Out-of-School Time (OST) Energy Clubs on Elementary School Students Abstract
Active learning during out-of-school time Energy Clubs, can positively affect students in grades 3-5 by improving their understanding of technology, what engineers do, the engineering design process, and how to improve a windmill. RAMP-UP assessed the impact through a pre- and posttest from the Engineering is Elementary workbook, “Catching the Wind.” After completing one activity where the students built windmills out of milk cartons, there were positive improvements in their understanding of technology, what engineers do and the engineering design process ranging from 3% to 8%. Significant gains (p < 0.05) were made in understanding how to improve a windmill where all the clubs had double-digit growth with an overall improvement of 26%.
RAMP-UP is a GE Foundation and National Science Foundation funded GK-12 Outreach Program at North Carolina State University and has established Energy Clubs at two, local, inner-city elementary schools for the 2009-2010 school years. A RAMP-UP Graduate Fellow with assistance from RAMP-UP Undergraduate Fellows and Teachers facilitates the Energy Clubs. These clubs provide an opportunity for students in grades 3- 5 to meet outside of regularly scheduled class time to learn about renewable energy, water purification, energy conservation and recycling. The facilitator utilizes a combination of original activities and Engineering is Elementary activities during the fall semester. The spring semester is spent designing and building solar cars in preparation for the Junior Solar Sprint held on campus in May.
In January of 2007, RAMP-UP, a GE Foundation and National Science Foundation funded GK-12 Outreach Program at North Carolina State University began its first Energy Club at one elementary school. Due to the demand to learn more about renewable energy, RAMP-UP increased the number of Energy Clubs to one club at three different elementary schools by the 2008-2009 academic year. For the 2009-2010 academic year, the program installed two clubs, one for fifth graders and one for third and fourth graders combined, at two elementary schools. These clubs are unique for this age group and were created through the collaboration between the RAMP-UP Graduate Fellow and a third grade RAMP-UP teacher.
The focus of the club is to use hands-on activities to teach math, science and engineering concepts related to renewable energy. This is in line with Dr. John Dewey, one of the founders of pragmatism in education who believed that learning was active and that math could be learned through everyday activities such as cooking.1 Building upon this concept, RAMP-UP has created original activities that anyone could recreate in their home to help teach math. For example, one of RAMP-UP’s most popular activities is the “Marshmallows and Toothpicks Activity” where students build two-dimensional and three-dimensional geometric shapes using marshmallows and toothpicks.
Albers, L., & Lindsay, K., & Hemric, J., & Bottomley, L., & Tucker, J., & Hollebrands, K., & Parry, E. (2010, June), The Impact Of Active Learning During Out Of School Time (Ost) Energy Clubs On Elementary School Students Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16550
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