Hydropower Ideas for the Classroom… and the World


Roy Bentley

By Captain Roy Bentley

Renewable energy is a hot topic around the world.  What IS renewable energy?  As you probably already know, it is energy sourced by a power that is not depleted when used.  As nations strive to reduce the impact of CO2 and other pollutants on the Earth, there’s a global push toward zero emission energy sources.  In other words, renewable energy.

Examples of renewable energy are Wind, Solar, Tidal, Geothermal, and Hydropower.  

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Neuroscience, Wow! Record Electrical Signals from your Heart, Brain and Eyes


by Will Wharton

At Backyard Brains, our goal is to make advanced science simple!  We develop low-cost versions of high-tech devices to make entry-level neuroscience and human physiology experiments available to everyone.

New to Educational Innovations is Backyard Brains’ Heart and Brain SpikerBox.  This simple device makes it easy for teachers and students to record electrical signals from your heart, brain, and eyes—making previously “advanced” science experiments much more accessible for all. Read the rest of this entry »


Priming the Pump: Using Anticipatory Sets in Teaching about Electricity


by Roy Bentley and Ken Crawford

Madeline Hunter (1916–1994) was an American educator who developed a model for teaching and learning that was widely adopted by schools and is still used today.  Hunter believed that teachers made hundreds of decisions every day in their teaching.  Over time, she created a system to assist teachers in making those decisions.  She called her system “Instructional Theory into Practice.”  ITIP gives teachers concrete methods to improve their instruction.  You can use ITIP with any subject, including—in our case—teaching the basics of electricity.

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Using Solar Cells to Teach Series and Parallel Circuits


By Marty Mathiesen

During the electricity unit in my high school physics class, I like to do an activity in which students determine the effect of having batteries placed in a series circuit and also in a parallel circuit.  We explore questions such as What are the similarities?  The differences?  What are the advantages of each method?  Do you see any patterns?

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How Electricity Works: An Animated Guide


by Arthur Murray

Electricity is everywhere!  If you’ve ever experienced a power outage, you know how important this form of power is for our daily life. From brewing our morning coffee to keeping our smart phones charged, electricity is all around us.  It’s the spark of lightning during a thunderstorm or that tiny shock when you touch a doorknob.

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