Friday, November 9, 2012

What I Realized After Sandy Came to Town

Greetings from Bergen County, New Jersey, 12 days since Hurricane Sandy swept through this part of the United States and changed the lives of people forever. After missing 7 days of school, we are here on November 9th, which should have been the second day of the N.J. Educator's Association's yearly convention in Atlantic City. Many of my colleagues and students were directly affected by the storm; some losing their cars and some losing everything they owned. I realized how important social media was in helping us communicate with one another. If you owned a smartphone and found power to recharge, you could check email, Facebook, or Twitter. Schools which utilized social media were able to get the word out about closings, delayed openings and clothing drives for those in need. Our school does not use Twitter or Facebook, but check the links if you want to introduce social media into your school.

With so many people still living without power, I once again pondered how great it would be if we didn't have to rely on the oil and power companies the way we do.The recent gas lines in the New York metropolitan area reminded me of the '70s, waiting for the correct day (odd or even) depending on the last number on your license plate.  What about the electric companies? Alternative energies have been around for a while, yet why don't we harness them?  News reports are now saying that some may people will not see the light at the end of the tunnel until 2013, because an electrician has to inspect their home and make sure it is safe to turn on the power. (To donate to the Red Cross, click the image on the top right of this page.) How do your students feel about alternative energies? Here are 28 places to start your lesson plan:

K-12 Energy Lesson Plans and Activities- U.S. government site

About Hydropower

Adventures in Energy-a look at oil and gas (interactive)

Alternative Energy- solutions for the 21st century

Alternative Energy News- news and resources

Department of Energy- covers all types of alternative energies, including hydrogen, solar, wind

Energy From the Sun Teacher and Student Guides- seven lessons for grades K-4

Energy Fueling the Future- this site is from the UK; take one of their quizzes and see how much you know about energy

Energy Kids- wind, solar energy

The Energy Story
- read the twenty chapter story online

Geothermal Energy- from the Geothermal Education Office

Harness the Power of Wind- from National Geographic

National Science Digital Library Ocean Wave Energy Company

New York Times Article on Solar Energy

Solar Electric Power Association- harness the power of the sun!

Solar Energy Lesson Plans- listed by grade level

Solar Energy Videos- from NeoK12

Solar Lesson Plans- divided by grade level

Solar Energy Basics- from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Treehugger- archived news articles about alternative energy

Wind Energy Basics- from the U.S. government

Wave Power

Wind Energy Curricula and Teaching Materials- from the U.S. Department of Energy; nice listing of links

Wind Energy Curriculum for K-12

(This listing will be added to the "Science" page)

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