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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Having a Blast with Articulating Stomp Rockets


Articulating Stomp Rockets - Educational Innovations Blog

by Paul Reyna

Have you ever had a science activity or demonstration that you really liked to do with your students, but then were told you could not do it anymore—or it did not fit your curriculum?

That is exactly what happened to me a few years ago.

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Thermal Energy in the News


latino-professor-newspaperThese days, thermal energy has become—dare we say it?—an even hotter topic than ever!  All over the world, researchers are working to discover new ways to store thermal energy, transform it into usable power (i.e., electricity), and more.  Although it may be years before some of these discoveries can be put to practical use, it’s exciting see how this area of science is thriving.

Here are just a few of the headlines that caught our attention in recent weeks.  Share them with your students!  If you find an interesting article on thermal energy, please post it in our Comments section.

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Thermal Energy Lesson


Lesson - Educational Innovations BlogWhen it comes to thermal energy lessons, we are reminded of the potato chip slogan, “Nobody can eat just one.”

There are so many awesome thermal energy lessons on the Internet, we couldn’t pick just one!  Take a moment to review the lesson plans and interactive classroom lab ideas below.  We’re certain you will find something to use with your students.

If you come across any thermal energy lessons you’d like to share, please leave us a comment below! Read the rest of this entry »