BCS Partners with Siemens Technologies to Bring Hands-On Solar Energy Learning to Goddard Public Schools

BCS partnered with Siemens Building Technologies to bring an understanding of energy efficiency to local Kansas school district, USD 265 Goddard Public Schools. BCS's Steve Mankins, spent three days in sixth grade classrooms engaging students in hands-on activities about renewable energy sources. We incorporated the district’s recent energy efficient HVAC, lighting and infrastructure upgrades into the discussions, hoping to give students a better understanding of the changes to their schools.

Students used solar panels, battery packs, and hydrogen to generate enough energy to power a light and fan motor. They learned about the strength of each energy source, their applications, and how to build sustainability and conservation into their daily routines. Most importantly, sixth graders at Discovery and Challenger Intermediate learned about the importance of energy efficiency to their school and planet. Steve had this to say about spending three days in Goddard classrooms: “The kids learned about sustainable energy sources in a hands-on way that hopefully helped them better understand how alternative energy applies to their day-to-day lives and future. They were engaged and asked intuitive questions- many about how to use less energy in their daily lives. It is vital to engage students in discussions about renewable energy- we’ve just scratched the surface! These kids will be the ones to take us into the future.” 

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This lesson supplemented the district’s participation in the hands-on education program, Project Lead The Way, a non-profit organization empowering students to develop and apply in-demand, transportable skills by exploring real-world challenges and technologies in science, engineering and biomedical sciences.

Participating sixth grade teachers, Cheryl Congleton and Stephanie Ryan, say that students enjoyed a hands-on opportunity to learn about solar energy. “I can say that this was a fantastic experience for my students, and that [BCS] provided an educational opportunity that normally would not have been possible.  My students were talking for days/weeks about what they learned, and how much fun they had when Steve was teaching. It was fun to see the reactions of students as they witnessed the transfer of electric energy into hydropower. The conversations and questions about how to apply this technology on a large scale were amazing, and my students had a “Hands-On” experience to really show them how renewable energy can work.” -Cheryl Congleton

“[The lessons] really got them excited about the possibilities of alternative energy sources. With the hand-on aspect the concepts we learned clicked for a lot of the students. The kits could not have fit more perfectly with our Project Lead The Way unit of Energy and the Environment. I feel so privilege to have had this opportunity for my students.” -Stephanie Ryan



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