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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Engineering Discussion Starters


Discussion Starters - Educational Innovations NewsletterNeed help launching a class discussion on engineering? We’ve compiled some awesome ideas.  Some of these websites offer ready-to-go lessons… others share exciting interviews with scientists involved in engineering.  All of them are worth a visit!

If you find a worthy site that we haven’t mentioned here, please let us know in the comments section below. Read the rest of this entry »


Engineering TV


EI TV - Educational Innovations BlogWhy would someone want to become an engineer?  What do engineers do?  Videos are a great way to answer these questions.  If you’ve enjoyed videos on this topic, please share them with us!

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Classroom Coasters, Mazes and More!


Chris Herald

By Chris Herald
NSTA STEM Teacher Ambassador 2017

I always love when Spring arrives because we start physics topics in my eighth grade physical science class!  Don’t get me wrong—my first love is chemistry and I have a Master’s degree to prove it—but there’s just something about physics in the Spring.  My students delve into the topics of speed and momentum with great gusto.  Two highlights?  Rolling marbles down a ruler and designing their own Hot Wheels experiment.  Not only are these students exploring some key physics topics, they are ALSO getting a chance to dabble in engineering:  a great combination!

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