About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5197-5201
Publication year: 2020
ISBN: 978-84-09-17939-8
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2020.1406

Conference name: 14th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2020
Location: Valencia, Spain

STRATEGIES TO TEACH ENERGY-RELATED CONCEPTS TO ELEMENTARY-SCHOOL STUDENTS THROUGH VISUAL ACTIVITIES AND LABORATORY EXPERIMENTS

M. Cañada-Soriano1, J.C. Rodríguez-Hernández1, G. Vilariño-Feltrer1, I. Del-Canto2, A. Vallés-Lluch1, D. Moratal2

1Universitat Politècnica de València, Department of Applied Thermodynamics (SPAIN)
2Universitat Politècnica de València, Department of Electronic Engineering (SPAIN)
It is broadly acknowledged that most students undergo difficulties with learning energy-related concepts. For this reason, strategies to promote student understanding of these abstract notions at early stages of their education should be taken into consideration.

Students have presumably ever heard that “energy can be neither created nor destroyed (it can only be transformed from one form to another, instead)”. Nevertheless, learning it through a series of lessons and theoretical activities may not be sufficient to achieve a meaningful learning of this concept.

Furthermore, to spark interest in science is essential to make students feel motivated and involved in the teaching-learning process, which should become easy and enjoyable. To do so, several experiences were developed to allow students discover concepts related to the energy types and forms of transfer (work, heat) through the active manipulation in authentic laboratory settings.

The aim of this contribution is to present some strategies to foster elementary-school students understanding energy concepts by combining visual activities and laboratory experiments. Through these experiences, the students are able to approach energy in a very intuitive way: both watching and “touching” them. Taking advantage of the features of practical activities provide meaningful learning.

A summer course was held during the first week of July 2019 for 30 junior students (aged 8 to 12) to teach science through STEMs experiences, at Universitat Politècnica de València (València, Spain). This course provides the students the chance to experience the university setting and its equipment, which contributes to increase their excitement and motivation. Several visual and laboratory activities were elaborated concerning pressure-volume-temperature properties of substances, energy forms and transformations through heat transfer.

The students were divided into working teams (4 – 5 students each) to stimulate their active participation and interaction. Each working team was introduced to the issue to be performed along with some theoretical basis, presented as riddles. Students, with the guidance of a professor, should discover for 10 minutes how the theoretical concepts previously explained were held within the activity. Few examples are here provided:

• Experiment #1
Concept: Density and compressibility of gases
Equipment/tools: Cartesian diver (a.k.a. hydrodynamic jellyfish)
Short description: Squeeze and release a bottle filled with water (tightly capped) with the cartesian diver within to make it dive and rise back.
• Experiment #2
Concept: Energy forms and transformations
Equipment/tools: Low-temperature Stirling engine
Short description: Place the Stirling engine on top of the mug filled with hot (nearly-boiling) water to activate the motion, that can be reversed with cold surfaces.
• Experiment #3
Concept: Heat conduction
Equipment/tools: Thermal imaging camera
Short description: Guess where a classmate had been sitting. Discover a pin code after entering it on a keyboard.

Thereby, the students’ natural curiosity is enhanced in an intuitive way and their attention and interest can be maintained. Consequently, the inclusion of STEM experiences can have a favourable impact on youngster’s insight of the intangible concept of energy, a keystone for building a deep comprehension over processes involving energy streams and their calculation.
@InProceedings{CANADASORIANO2020STR,
author = {Ca{\~n}ada-Soriano, M. and Rodr{\'{i}}guez-Hern{\'{a}}ndez, J.C. and Vilari{\~n}o-Feltrer, G. and Del-Canto, I. and Vall{\'{e}}s-Lluch, A. and Moratal, D.},
title = {STRATEGIES TO TEACH ENERGY-RELATED CONCEPTS TO ELEMENTARY-SCHOOL STUDENTS THROUGH VISUAL ACTIVITIES AND LABORATORY EXPERIMENTS},
series = {14th International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2020 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-17939-8},
issn = {2340-1079},
doi = {10.21125/inted.2020.1406},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/inted.2020.1406},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {2-4 March, 2020},
year = {2020},
pages = {5197-5201}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. Cañada-Soriano AU - J.C. Rodríguez-Hernández AU - G. Vilariño-Feltrer AU - I. Del-Canto AU - A. Vallés-Lluch AU - D. Moratal
TI - STRATEGIES TO TEACH ENERGY-RELATED CONCEPTS TO ELEMENTARY-SCHOOL STUDENTS THROUGH VISUAL ACTIVITIES AND LABORATORY EXPERIMENTS
SN - 978-84-09-17939-8/2340-1079
DO - 10.21125/inted.2020.1406
PY - 2020
Y1 - 2-4 March, 2020
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 14th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2020 Proceedings
SP - 5197
EP - 5201
ER -
M. Cañada-Soriano, J.C. Rodríguez-Hernández, G. Vilariño-Feltrer, I. Del-Canto, A. Vallés-Lluch, D. Moratal (2020) STRATEGIES TO TEACH ENERGY-RELATED CONCEPTS TO ELEMENTARY-SCHOOL STUDENTS THROUGH VISUAL ACTIVITIES AND LABORATORY EXPERIMENTS, INTED2020 Proceedings, pp. 5197-5201.
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