Students at H. J. Cody High School will benefit from more hands-on opportunities to learn about energy, thanks to a grant awarded to the school by BP Canada through their A+ for Energy program.
Physics teacher Theresa Donaghy wrote the proposal which was accepted by the program resulting in a $10,000 grant.
Called Hands On Energy, her proposal is to get students involved in measuring energy through data recording and analysis.
“I think there’s ton of potential,” said Donaghy. “We haven’t had the portability with the equipment or the technology to hook into.”
When she first arrived at the school, she said they had equipment available to do real-time data recording to computers. However the old computers that used floppy disks, eventually became outdated and weren’t replaced.
With the grant she plans to purchase laptop computers that can be hooked up to the probes they have to help students learn through hands-on experimenting.
“One of the big things is getting computers to run the data collection stations,” Donaghy said. This will give students a start on what they might learn when the go on to university or into the oilfield industry.
A summary of her proposal stated, “We will transform the way students in our school learn about energy and their experience of energy consumption. With funds from this grant, we will be able to bring energy education to our students in a direct and interactive way. Our students will experience high-tech hands-on energy-related lab activities, in addition to being introduced to renewable energy sources with our use of solar technology …
“Students will perform labs and activities which involve hands-on data collection with interactive technology in order to gain a deep understanding of what energy is, the many ways energy can be detected, measured and transformed, in addition to efficiency issues related to energy sources. Students will use technology to study gravitational potential energy, elastic potential energy, chemical potential energy, solar energy and kinetic energy through a variety of labs and activities in Grades 10, 11 and 12 science courses.”
Donaghy said she received so much help from physics teachers in Chinook’s Edge School Division. “We support each other.” Last year, Ryan Beck at Sundre High School applied for one of these grants and was successful. He shared his information on ways of incorporating the science curriculum. This year, besides the grant to Cody, two other schools in the division, that she’s aware of, also received money from BP Canada’s program.
“It’s kind of cool small schools like ours can get that funding,” said Donaghy. “As long as it includes energy education they’re really open to projects which are included in the curriculum for students.”