Formerly In-Class Student Workshops
Our in-class workshops, a cornerstone of our programming for many years, are now a teaching partner experience. One of our educators will work with you to embed an NGSS-aligned energy workshop into your energy or climate curriculum, come into your classroom to co-teach the lessons, and provide follow-up support. Before the workshop, work by phone or email with your VEEP/NHEEP educator to tweak lesson plans and worksheets to suit your students. Then the educator will arrive with all materials and equipment to collaboratively run the workshop with you over one or two days. Educators can also help you with additional equipment needs and suggestions for other lessons and curriculum ideas for your unit of study.
Though they are designed for classrooms, we can also bring our hands-on student workshops to libraries, scout groups, camps, homeschool groups, or other community groups. Please be in touch with your specific needs.
A note on cost
- *Indicates workshops that we can bring to NH teachers for FREE through NHSaves.
- Vouchers for free workshops are available to VT teachers in many areas of the state. Please indicate if you would like a voucher when you sign up.
Possible workshop topics:
- Conservation Kids | grades K-3*
Young students gain a basic understanding of energy and the importance of conservation and efficiency. Hands-on activities help students explore transportation, basic home appliances, and the difference between human energy and power plant energy, with a focus on simple conservation behaviors that students can do at home or school.
- Sun FUNdamentals: Light & Shadows | grades K-3
Introduce your youngest students to solar energy, light, and shadows with this unit for K–3 that incorporates engineering principles in engaging, hands-on lessons, using NGSS and Common Core as frameworks. The FUNdamentals engineering lessons focus on design with an emphasis on students sharing their ideas and methods. In a lab style environment, students simulate the sharing community between engineers and scientists to create a community of learners.
We offer three different Sun FUN lessons. These three lessons can also be borrowed as a kit and curriculum to engage students in a deeper exploration of light, shadows and engineering. Choose from:
Sunlight Shines on the Earth: How Does Light Behave with Materials?
This workshop explores the effect of placing objects made with different materials in the path of a beam of light. Students make observations, collect data and argue with evidence to answer how light behaves with materials.
Designing a Model Tree to Shade Earth’s Surface
Given the challenge of four animals who are in need of shade, students design and test a tree canopy for a model tree. Students have the opportunity to revise as they investigate how to slow the warming effects of sunlight.
Designing Light-Blocking Structures
Working with limited materials, students design and build a structure to be covered with paper to reduce the warming effect on an area. Students will draw the outline of the shadow and can investigate how a shadow changes over time.
- Wind FUNdamentals: Using Wind to Do Work | grades K-3
Introduce your youngest students to wind energy with this unit for K–3 that incorporates engineering principles in engaging, hands-on lessons, using NGSS and Common Core as frameworks. The FUNdamentals engineering lessons focus on design with an emphasis on students sharing their ideas and methods. In a lab style environment, students simulate the sharing community between engineers and scientists to create a community of learners.
We offer three different Wind FUN lessons. These three lessons can also be borrowed as a kit and curriculum to engage students in a deeper exploration of wind energy and engineering. Choose from:
Introducing Wind Power
Beginning with an interactive reading of I Face the Wind, students will explore wind as moving air. Next students will develop a model of how a pin wheel works by exploring 2 different types of pinwheels to gather evidence for their understanding.
Designing and Testing Sails
Students are asked to explore two different materials that might be suitable as a sail material. Working with limited materials, students will design and test a sail for a boat on a string track. Students collect data and discuss how the boats performed before working on revisions for their sail.
Designing and Improving Windmills
Beginning with, what material is best suited for a wind blade, students will design and test wind blades that will be used on VEEP’s windmills, to lift weight. Students collect data and discuss how the windmills performed before working on revisions for their wind blades.
- Magnetism | grade 3
Students explore magnets, understanding magnetic force through hands-on experiments with magnets, paperclips, and other metals. This workshop lays the foundation for learning about electricity in later grades.
- Electricity & the Environment | grades 4-10*
Students learn about electricity and how it powers our world, from Faraday’s Coil to our modern energy economy. Students take turns generating electricity on their own with different hand-powered activities. In middle school and up, we'll even bring our energy bike into the classroom for students to try lighting bulbs by pedal power!
- Renewables by Design: An Intro to Energy Engineering | grades 5-10
Students are challenged to think like engineers tasked with reducing our dependence on fossil fuels. This workshop helps students develop their understanding of renewable and non-renewable sources of energy and to adapt renewable energy design parameters to produce the greatest amount of electricity and positively affect the environment. Through a series of hands-on wind, solar, and hydro stations, students test variables, collect and analyze data, and start to construct explanations and solutions from the evidence.
- Home Heat Transfer | grades 6-12*
Students consider how they can use less energy to heat their home while still keeping it at a comfortable temperature. Home Heat Transfer demonstrates the concepts of thermal energy transfer and familiarizes students with different insulation materials and their roles in heat transfer and slowing heat loss. After exploring data from four model houses with various levels of insulation and sealing, students test and investigate the thermal characteristics of insulating and air-sealing materials under different conditions. Home Heat Transfer for high school also highlights a home heating challenge, where students play the role of new homeowners, researching and “purchasing” weatherization improvements for their new home.
We recommend that middle school teachers use our Home Heat Transfer Storyline to accompany the in-class workshop. VEEP/NHEEP loans a kit that includes materials to accompany the storyline, run the engineering challenge where students are asked to construct the most energy efficient model house, as well as provide materials for anticipated student investigations including conduction and convection experiment, combustion demos, and modeling climate science experiments.
- Modeling Climate Science | grades 6-8
Middle school students develop their understanding of factors that have caused a rise in global temperatures over the past century with emphasis on the major role that human activities play. Students test and compare bottle models of two “Earths” — one without CO2 and one with added CO2 — to collect evidence and formulate a claim about the relationship between greenhouse gases and Earth's average air temperature, then participate in a scientist meeting to discuss their claims and add to their understanding of the effects of greenhouse gases.
- Smart Technology & Climate Change | grades 9-12
High school students explore electricity use and smart meters to answer this question: How can new technologies in electrical metering reduce electrical usage and subsequently reduce CO2 emissions? Students measure power and calculate electrical energy usage of a variety of small appliances and create connections between electrical usage, electrical generation and related carbon dioxide emissions. Students are then introduced to new technology in electrical metering and are given the opportunity to examine the applications and implications of this new technology.
- Green Energy Careers | grades 10-12*
Give your students a hands-on overview of the tools, concepts and pathways that lead to careers in renewable energy generation and energy efficiency. In the first part of this workshop, students manipulate photovoltaics and wind generators to figure out optimal design and installation for power generation. The second part introduces tools and concepts in energy efficiency careers, specifically thermal and lighting efficiency. In conclusion, students interact with informational materials addressing the future of green careers and explore the specifics of various career pathways. An informational packet including certification, licensure and education programs will be provided to participating classrooms, enabling easy follow-up for interested students.
- Eco-Driving | for drivers' ed classes
Bring VEEP/NHEEP to your driver’s education class for a lively presentation on maintaining and operating your vehicle in ways that save the most energy.