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This bundle is a great opener to a larger unit on the science of climate change, which focuses specifically on NGSS ESS2-4 - Use a model to describe how variations in the flow of energy into and out of the Earth’s systems results in changes in climate.
This bundle includes two student-directed resources on the solar energy budget as it relates to climate change. Students will start with an open inquiry science investigation on student-developed questions about the energy budget. Learners will demonstrate their understanding of the energy budget with a Maker PBL Challenge where students are asked to create a digital simulation of the energy budget and share it with an authentic audience.
Age group: Open inquiry in theory is appropriate for all ages because it is personalized. Students ask their own questions and design their own investigations. The creation of a digital simulation is also possible for students of all ages, however, the guiding materials included in these two activities are geared more toward high school students as far as language and format is concerned. Having some experience with inquiry-based learning and experimental design is helpful but not mandatory. You are there to help guide them through this activity, as are the guiding materials included in this resource.
Materials and prep: The inquiry activity will require gathering materials (material suggestions offered in this resource are likely readily available to you) and setting up the lab. The second activity requires very little prep, if any. The creation of a digital energy budget simulation is entirely child-led. The only materials required are a computer and the internet. Some software programs might be helpful, but are not required.
For more tips on how to implement student-directed open inquiry activities, including helpful scaffolding questions, visit Experiential Learning Depot Blog.
This bundle includes:
Energy budget inquiry investigation:
Energy Budget Digital Simulation Maker Challenge
1. Teacher guide
2. Student guide
- Exploration and brainstorming guidesheet
- Prototype template
- Reflection questions
If you like this resource, check out these student-directed products as well!
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