Thursday, July 30, 2009

Games for Change at Summer Tech Institute Castine

by Ed Latham and Olga LaPlante

Please select one of the questions below and respond to it as a comment. If you would like people to know who you are, but you do not wish to log into Blogger, you may include your name in your comment.


1. What do students need to know about a community's energy needs?

2. If students were given control of energy policy, what might the outcome look like?

3. Briefly share one example of an activity you provide students in which the student can quickly and easily try different scenarios to see results.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

(What an energy policy controlled by students might look like). I have a nagging suspicion that it would be a lot more diverse. For one thing they would not be phased by the controlling interests of business or the status quo. Their ideas would be based on the energy needs, the different ways of creating energy, including new innovative energy sources. They would not be concerned with the "not in my back yard" politics. I think if given the tools and knowledge they would be able to throw off the chains of everything that is, and create an unfettered future.

Adam Roberge said...

1. Students should know how units of energy are measured first. Then they should learn how much their community uses. Next I would have them learn how much it takes to generate enough energy to do something simple such as light a light bulb. Once they have a basic understanding of energy they should learn the sources their community uses and learn about renewable and non renewable sources. From there you could have students come up with ways to reduce their communities energy consumption.

Elizabeth Bianchi said...

1. When it comes to a community's energy needs, students need to understand what resources are available to the community and what barriers to those resources exist (cultural, environmental, etc).

Anonymous said...

Students would first need to find out the energy consumption of their community. They would need to understand how energy is created and "moved" from place to place. They need to have an idea of how the community is changing in terms of population. They may need to know what the energy values in terms of energy. Do they just want to have all their energy needs met at any cost? Do they want to think about conservation?

Anonymous said...

Students would probably need to know how energy is measured, what the need of the community is and how the community is meeting that need at the present time.

Anonymous said...

#2 Control of energy policy vs. final product is always a stretch. Students may choose policies that: #1, do not factor limited budget issues, #2 - do not factor special interest conflicts,#3 may not factor environmental impacts of construction, wetlands, etc. Students would have to be able to challenge each others energy policy papers. Without limitations, students would come up with some promising and unique ideas. Realism requires the ability to challenge and compromise.

Robert said...

Students have no appreciation for how important energy has played a role in our history. Time should be spent educating them on the origins of the types of energy.

Robert said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I feel that students need to know what different kinds of energy are used in a community and what the advantages and disadvantages are for each type of energy.

Mrs. Tenney said...

Students should gain a deeper knowledge of the available resources, renewable and non-renewable. In addition, they should learn what their role is in the politics of energy--how their actions effect use of energy and the creation of policy.

Lisa Emerson said...

Students need to be aware of what resources the community has and what they lack. They need to know what affects the acquisition of resources or what the barriers are. A new energy policy developed by the students would probably be more simplistic than one developed by "experts". This simplicity could lead to better results, however, as the students would not have any special interests that would hold them back.
I don't have any quick activities, but have students complete Project Citizen, where energy programs could be explored, or it could be a wide variety of public policy topics.

Anonymous said...

I think a student energy plan would be narrow and idealistic. Many students would feel very strongly about needs for new energy sources or would be able to develop a plan. However I do not think many student plans would allow for all the factors that would affect energy use, availability, cost, environmental effects, .....

Anonymous said...

#2 I think that if students realized how much energy was used they would be more energy efficient because this is how children seem to react with money when they are given the option of making decisions about it.
#3 Oregon trail that allows them to make decisions to live or die.

Doughty said...

Well, I give them lots of stuff and ask them to make a car with the greatest velocity. They try all SORTS of different things, and combinations of things...

Anonymous said...

3.
Typingtest.com
Tuxtyping
Tuxmath
Three games (or online "test"" that students use and can see results.

Making movies on iMovie,
Songs or podcasts on Garageband

Anonymous said...

I have students create a puzzle in whizzball, where they have to create a marble puzzle and test it as they go.

Anonymous said...

Question #3 -

I have my students create interactive "storybooks" using Powerpoint and action buttons. At the bottom of each page, the story splits and the reader makes a decision where to take the story and redirect the plot.