Thermal Energy TV


EI TV - Educational Innovations BlogThermal energy—the energy that is generated and measured by heat—is such a wonderful topic that can be approached in many ways.  So many questions to explore!  What is heat?  How does heat travel?  What’s the difference between heat and temperature?  How do we measure temperature?  What are conductors?  Insulators?  And on and on…

There are times when a video offers the easiest, most accessible way to explain a concept.  This is certainly true when it comes to thermal energy.  Feel free to share this collection of videos with your students!   If you find a video on thermal energy that you think deserves to be added here, please let us know in the Comments section below.

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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 »


You Said It! Thermal Energy Product Reviews


You Said It! Product Reviews - Educational Innovations NewsletterTo put it simply, we think thermal energy is cool!  Many of our best-selling discrepant event demos are related to thermal energy, as you’ll see from the reviews below.  With our Ice Melting Blocks, you can ask your students to predict which block will melt an ice cube more rapidly…  Use a Chemical Heat Pack to challenge your class to figure out how heat—usually associated with melting—can be produced by a reaction that turns a liquid into a solid…  Or dazzle them with Nitinol Memory Wire that changes shape upon heating!

If you have a favorite Educational Innovations product, send us a comment below.  We’d love to share your review with your fellow teachers and science lovers.

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Summer Science Discussion Starters


Educational Innovations Newsletter - Discussion StartersChoosing a few compelling ice-breakers and discussion starters for the first week of school may not be a priority right now, but it’s never too early to jot down a few good ideas.  We’ve compiled 20 ideas to help you start some lively science conversations next year.

Each of these “raise-your-hand-if…” statements can be expanded or modified, depending upon the grade you teach.  Your goal is to find ways to connect your students’ summer experiences with science topics.

Do you have any excellent discussion starter questions related to summer science?  Share them with us in the comments below!

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What I have discovered – Teaching about Energy


bKen Crawfordy:  Ken Crawford

As I mentioned in my last blog, I had the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of introducing a new teaching tool called the PowerWheel.  As a career social studies teacher and administrator, it has been a great experience to learn about a whole new area of academics…the teaching of energy and everything that goes along with it.

As we started to market the PowerWheel, one of the first things that we did was to bring together a group of teachers that represented all teaching levels…from the elementary to the post-secondary.  Many of these teachers were not science teachers…or had limited science backgrounds.  After giving them the chance to use the PowerWheel, we asked them, “How can we make the PowerWheel the most effective teaching tool it can be?”

PowerWheel pulleys Teaching about energy

Their answers were an eye-opener for us. It came down to variations on a single theme:  Before we can use the PowerWheel effectively, we need to understand energy ourselves…then we can teach our students. It turns out that one of the greatest fears or limitations that some of the teachers had was the lack of their own knowledge.  If given a chance to choose between a social studies lesson and a science lesson…they would choose the former…just because of comfort level.

From that moment on, we knew that we had an additional priority…help teach the teachers, and then effective learning about energy could take place. The PowerWheel is a great tool to help do this…easy to understand, and easy to use.

Here are three thoughts about teaching energy education in your classroom:

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