Energy in the classroom

Posted: Monday, October 04, 2010

The National Energy Education Development Project held a workshop at the Challenger Learning Center on Friday.

Photo By M. Scott Moon
Photo By M. Scott Moon
Don Pruett teaches an energy education seminar for Kenai Peninsula Borough School District teachers at the Challenger Learning Center last week. The workshop, hosted by ConocoPhillips and the National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project, was one of 26 in 25 cities across the nation, according to a ConocoPhillips press release.

Don Pruett, a member of the group's Teacher Advisory Board, spoke to Peninsula educators.

Pruett explained how different scientific concepts related to energy. Teachers came away with free learning kits. The workshop is one of 25 nationwide projects, according to a press release. The event was sponsored by Conoco-Phillips, who estimates that 200,000 students use the experiments handed out.

Nikiski Middle School science teacher Dylan Hooper plans on using a hanger bending exercise in his classrooms.

"Energy is important to our area," he said. "The more I know about it, the more I can relate to my kids."

The action requires the chemical energy in the human body, from carbon molecules, kinetic energy in hands -- pushing -- and heat energy in the hanger, from bending.

Kimberly Bates, a third grade teacher at K-Beach Elementary, said that most of the lecture was too advanced for her students, but a few of the experiments will work well in her classroom.

She said that her students may do an activity that turns an apple into a battery.Kids will use a piece of copper and a nail to harness the chemical energy within the fruit.

Tony Cella can be reached at

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