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Power / Energy


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Written by teachers for teachers, these ready-to-use, hands-on projects for technology education and applied science classes are great curriculum enhancement tools. They really get students motivated!

Simply duplicate and use for as many students—and for as many times—as desired. Our high-quality activities save you time and help your students really understand the principles of technology and applied science. Projects include teaching tools such as procedures, vocabulary words, quizzes, photos, illustrations and much more.

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Projects are intended for unlimited copying and use by purchaser only. For multi-teacher use, site licenses are available. Hard copies available at an adjusted price. Please contact Vanessa Revelli at 734-975-2800 x306 or for information.

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Alternative Energy Vehicles: The Commuter Scooter
Using a small electric motor, acrylic chassis, model airplane wheels and other small components, students produce a mini working model of an electric car.

Calculating Home Electricity Consumption
Students gain greater awareness of their personal use of electricity and get some excellent experience with the practical application of mathematics through study of their families consumption of electricity.

Cookin' with SunDesign and Build Solar Cookers
Hot dogs and marshmallows anyone? Bring together math, science and technology in an activity that teaches students about designing products that address human needs, along with issues related to health and the environment.

Designing a Self-Sustaining Community
Students assume the role of consultant for a small community that wishes to be self-sustaining in terms of electrical service. The activity appeared in the November 2012 issue of Tech Directions and has been reformatted. Student handouts and worksheets are now included. Only $2.95.

Electric Power: Decisions for the Future
Extensive background on the use of electricity in the U.S., plus an experiment for individual students related to personal electricity use and strategies for conservation. Mini project, only $2.95.

Energy Conservation
Teach kids how to save energyand moneybefore theyre paying the bills! A light bulb energy calculation activity, a home energy efficiency test, and lots of tips and info on how to be a wise energy consumer are included.

Energy-Efficient Home Design
Activities give students a practical understanding of the amount of energy the average home uses and wastes and teaches them about energy-efficient design. Includes handouts, vocabulary, student quiz, and grading rubric.

Experimenting with Solar Energy
Background on solar energy and its uses, plus five engaging activities.

Experiments Demonstrate Geothermal Heating Concepts
A series of experiments conducted using an inexpensive teacher-built testing box demonstrate the basics of geothermal heating. This project appeared in the March 2012 issue of Tech Directions and has been reformatted for classroom use. It includes student work sheets, data collection tables, and graphs for studet use. Only $2.95.

Fire as Technology
A one-week activity gives students ample research and design practice and shows the life-or-death importance of technological creativity and persistence.

Ground Effect Vehicles
Students study hydrofoils, aerofoils and hovercraftsvehicles designed to skim across bodies of water while transporting people and things. Project culminates in students building a tabletop hovercraft. Mini project, only $2.95.

Heros Steam Engine
This project for middle schoolers demonstrates the difference between internal and external combustion engines; explains concepts of propulsion, energy conversion and the conductivity of materials; and teaches soldering. Complete with bill of materials, construction procedures, assembly figures, testing procedures, vocabulary test and steam turbine test.

The study of motion as it relates to fluidslike water, oil and airis studied in two flight activities that test for the effects of weight, drag, lift and thrust.

Hydrodynamics and Boat Hull Design
A week-long, hands-on project on mechanics and fluids for middle schoolers. Includes project notes for teachers, a unit calendar, evaluation rubric, bill of materials, quiz and quiz key17 pages in all!

Katapultos: Teaching Basic Statistics with Ballistics
Heads up, Binny! This technology project increases math, science and technology correlations within the classroom while giving students a fun way to collect and apply measurement data.

Lighter-Than-Air-Vehicles: The Hot-Air Balloon
Students learn the basics of lighter-than-air flight, then construct a simple, small hot-air balloon from a plastic bag, thread, paper, and cardboard.

Mini Solar Race Car
Heres a miniature solar-powered electric car that students can construct, plus background on how transmissions work and advice on sources of information on solar cars.

PC Power Management Project Also Teaches Spreadsheet Use
Activity teaches students the economic impact of computer power management and provides good experience with mathematics and spreadsheet software. It appeared in the August 2012 issue of Tech Directions and has been reformatted to provide ready-to-hand-out student instructions.

The basics and benefits of pneumaticsa key factor involved in todays industrial robotsalong with an introduction to the components of a pneumatic system (regulator, pressure gauge, valve, and cylinder). Also includes instructions for constructing a teacher-made pneumatic mockup board that can be used to demonstrate the technology plus question and activity sheets. Mini project, only $2.95.

Power: Gyroscopes
After introducing middle schoolers to principles of inertia, momentum and centrifugal force, students build a simple gyroscope and an inertial navigation course.

Power: Magnetic Levitation
Introduce your middle schoolers to the principles of magnetic levitation and build a Maglev train! Includes test questions, directions for assembling a Maglev train and Maglev train evaluation questions. Mini project, only $2.95.

Robotics: The Manipulator
Building and operating a remote manipulator from simple components (syringes, screws, nuts, wood, plastic tubing) teaches students how robots function, as well as the principles of hydraulics.

Skateboard Park
Introduce middle schoolers to the concepts of potential and kinetic energy and pendulums and their periods by having them design, construct and test a skateboard park. Includes test and project evaluation questions and directions for constructing eight different skateboard park components.

Solar Energy Collector
Explore the basics of passive solar energy by creating a functional model solar collector.

Teach Energy Savings with Cardboard House
Practical experiments that require only common household materials give students insight as to how heat is lost through the walls and ceilings of a home plus various properties of insulation. This project appeared in the April 2011 issue of Tech Directions. It has been reformatted for easy classroom use. Mini-project, only $2.95!

The Solar Water Skimmer
Students attach a teacher-made solar panel and motor system to a Styrofoam boat of their own design.

Toast Anyone?
Students measure the electricity needed to toast bread, then use their findings to compute the cost of doing so. Excellent introduction to electricity terminologyand math practice.Note: This project appeared in the February 2010 issue of techdirections. It has been reformatted to include ready-to-copy worksheets. Mini-project, only $2.95!

Turbines Build a simple turbine engine
and teach your students about the uses for and principles behind water, steam, gas and wind turbines. Mini project, only $2.95.

Understanding Energy Consumption and Phantom Loads
Background on typical household electricity usage and phantom loads, plus three activities in which students estimate the amount and cost of electrical leakage from electronic devices and appliances in their homes, and propose methods for reducing the leakage. This project appeared in the August 2011 issue of Tech Directions. It includes handouts, full-size student worksheets, and additional information.

Vacuum Cannon: A Demonstration of the Power of Atmospheric Pressure
A teacher-made and operated shop-vac-based cannon is used to demonstrate the principles of propulsion, then students experiment with design of their own projectiles, which the teacher can test.

Wind Power & Wind Turbines
In this project for middle schoolers, students learn about torque, build and test their own wind turbines, learn to calculate kilowatts per hour and measure the power of their wind turbines.

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