Prior to reading any texts, we need our students to understand the structure of the atmosphere. In order to effectively teach our students the different layers of the atmosphere, we will watch this video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WaikvaAw2nk. This video explains the compositional layers of the atmosphere and the major characteristics of each layer. This is important for our students to understand because climate occurs in the atmosphere, which is directly impacted by climate change.
Basics of Climate Change
Prior to reading our texts, we will expose our students to the foundation of climate change. The English co-teacher will review and define terms necessary to understand this topic (see Political Debates over Climate Change by Patricia M. Sorrentino). This video on YouTube—https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3v-w8Cyfoq8—will introduce the effects of greenhouse gases on our atmosphere and to our climate for our students. In addition, the video provides an understanding of how the Industrial Revolution had a huge effect on our climate because of a spike in burning fossil fuels.
Once our students view the first two clips, we will have them watch two other clips, which focus on energy. The YouTube clips are: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMOpMka6PJI and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20Vb6hlLQSg. The first video explains renewable and nonrenewable energy. The video first explores energy and the different types of energy. The video also explains that energy is not unlimited and reviews ways to conserve. This video will be an introduction to our field trip to the power plant. The second video explains how energy is created. The focus of the video is a generator and how it functions.
Close to our school is the Yale Power Plant, which we will plan a field trip to visit. On this field trip, our students will experience how energy is created. Once they have viewed the energy video clips and visited the power plant, they will create a simple shake generator.
In class, our students will be provided with the materials to make a simple shake generator. The website, www.creative-science.org.uk/gensimple1.html, is a great source for instructing a shake-a-gen. Making a simple generator will help show our students how electricity is produced. A generator works because the magnets are stimulating the electrons in the wire coil. The magnet moving back and forth creates alternating current (AC). Alternating current is created when the electrons are moving back and forth through the wire coils and the LED (light emitting diode). The stimulated electrons passing through the wires of the LED causes the LED to light up.
The materials necessary for this project are a 35 mm film canister, thin insulated copper wire, magnets that just fit in canister, scissors, sandpaper, red LED, and tape.
The following steps should be followed:
Remove the lid of the 35mm plastic film canister.
Cut out two cardboard circles about 50mm diameter and cut out their centers (33mm diameter hole), so that they fit snugly onto the canister. Space the two circles about 1cm either side of the center of the can. Wind on a few turns of insulation tape on to the can, either side of the cardboard to hold them in place.
Use the cardboard circles as a bobbin (or former) on which to wind the coil. Wind on 500 to 1000 turns of thin, insulated copper wire. Add a layer of electrical tape to keep them from un-winding. Remember to leave about 10cm or so of wire free at each end.
Scrape off some of the insulation (say 5mm or so) from the ends of the wire (using sandpaper) and connect to the LED (it does not matter which way round). Solder the connections if possible. Use some electrical tape to secure the wire and LED to the bottom of the can.
Pop a small (but powerful) magnet into the can and snap the lid back on. Hold the can between thumb and forefinger at the two ends of the can (with thumb or forefinger on the lid to stop it coming off) and shake. The LED will light!