STEM Tuesday

STEM Tuesday — Renewable Energy — Writing Tips & Resources

Renewable Creative Energy

STEM Tuesday friends, I was creatively tired. Drained. The well was dry. Etc., etc., etc. It’s been a wild couple of months in which I feel I’ve been running full tilt on a treadmill not going anywhere. The battery was drained. 

There’s a definition of energy derived from Aristotle and his concept of enérgeia.

Energy is a condition that allows the capacity to do work.

I needed some renewable energy. I need the capacity to do my work.

Energy cannot be created or destroyed; it can only be transformed from one form to another.

This little nugget is the Law of Conservation of Energy. 

Ah, but since energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transformed from one form to another, I couldn’t just wave a magic wand and create the “Best STEM Tuesday Post of All Time” I dreamt of making. 

I needed some renewable energy. But how? There’s no Creative Energy section in any of my local stores, there were a few TikToks that were of no help at all, and, unbelievably, Amazon doesn’t list anything relevant to my problem. 

I was at a loss.

In utter creative despair, I snapped the laptop lid closed, fell to my knees, and reached, like Tim Robbins after his escape in The Shawshank Redemption, to the creative spirits of the universe in a plea for help. Sadly, the creative spirits of the universe did not answer. So I got off the office floor, went outside to fill the bird feeders, and then took the dog for a walk. Signs of early spring were everywhere. Birds, buds, and lilacs. Daffodils, tulips, and a soft breeze. 

The creative battery notched a level up. 

I felt a thaw in the ice floe jamming my creative brain (For a little brain science, here’s a link to my post, Creative Braining). I had an urge to go to the library. I picked up my two grandsons (5 and 3 years old, respectively) and we descended with great enthusiasm to the children’s floor in the basement of our library. Their energy was contagious. I scoured the shelves and found a half dozen awesome picture books to use for illustrator studies. 

With great excitement, we hauled our stacks of books from the library and to the truck to take home. I was fired up to return to my office, read the books I’d checked out, and then add sticky notes to mark the illustrations I wanted to draw for illustrator studies.

With little effort, the creative battery reached an almost full charge. Turns out, all I needed was to take a step back from the work and redirect to a renewable creative energy source. Nature and libraries. Two great sources of renewable creative energy. Bingo!

Energy cannot be created or destroyed; it can only be transformed from one form to another.

The Law of Conservation of Energy. 

It means energy comes at a price, even the forms of renewable energy listed in this month’s fabulous STEM Tuesday Renewable Energy book list. The trick for humanity at this critical point in environmental history is to transition to creating energy that minimizes the negative impact on the environment while still providing the energy to fuel our lifestyles.

We all know it’s important to develop renewable energy strategies for the environment. It’s also vital to develop strategies to renew creative energy. Find what works and when that doesn’t work, try something different. Expand the lens that feeds your creative brain. Be curious. 

As for that Best STEM Tuesday Post of All Time? You might have to wait on that one for a while longer. 

 

Bellatheblond, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

 

Mike Hays has worked hard from a young age to be a well-rounded individual. A well-rounded, equal-opportunity sports enthusiast, that is. If they keep a score, he’ll either watch it, play it, or coach it. A molecular microbiologist by day, middle-grade author, sports coach, and general good citizen by night, he blogs about sports/training-related topics at  www.coachhays.com and writer stuff at  www.mikehaysbooks.comTwo of his science essays, The Science of Jurassic Park and Zombie Microbiology 101, are included in the Putting the Science in Fiction collection from Writer’s Digest Books. He can be found roaming around the X under the guise of @coachhays64 and on Instagram at @mikehays64.

 


The O.O.L.F Files

This month’s version of the O.O.L.F.(Out of Left Field) Files explores a spectrum of renewable energy information. From DIY to corporate plans to how the word “energy” came to be, you can check it all out at the links below.

Renewable Energy (Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy)

Microsoft’s Emissions and Water Use Shoot Up As It Goes All In on AI (via Futurism)

What is renewable energy? (kids.earth.org)

The renewable energy movement must have corporate involvement. This may take time and involve the consumer holding them accountable for their promises and PR on renewable energy.

Natural Resource Distribution Video for Kids (GenerationGenius) 

DIY Renewable Energy

The History of the Word “Energy” (Energy Fundamentals from the University of Leipzig)

 

Florian Gerlach (Nawaro), CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons


 

 

STEM Tuesday — Renewable Energy — In the Classroom

 

How will renewable energy be part of our future? These books explore different sources of renewable energy and how they are being used today and in the future. The possibilities are endless for energy-filled classroom discussions and activities!

Energy Lab for Kids: 40 Exciting Experiments to Explore, Create, Harness, and Unleash Energy by Emily Hawbaker, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

Energy lab for kids: 40 exciting experiments to explore, create, harness, and unleash energy

by Emily Hawbacker

Do you want to know about the different types of energy and how they help us in our everyday lives? Potential, kinetic, chemical, radiant and thermal energy: they affect us daily. This book provides activities that explore the different components of energy: from what it is, to how it’s discovered and used, and how we can save it. If you like hands-on fun, this is the book for you!

 

Classroom Activity

How much energy do you use? Ask students to track their energy use for 24 hours. Have them write down the activity, type of energy used, time spent using energy, and where they used it. Using this information, have students answer the following questions:

  1. How many minutes of energy did you use in total?
  2. What activities used the most energy?
  3. What surprises you about your energy use?
  4. Why is it important to understand your energy use?

Have students brainstorm three ways they can conserve energy in their daily life. What changes will they have to make? How easy will it be to implement these changes?

 

See related product detailThe Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, Young Reader’s Edition

written by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer, illustrated by Anna Hymas

An exciting memoir of a boy living in a drought-stricken village in Malawi, who builds a windmill from scrap, with the help of science books at the school library, and brings electricity to his home to pump water for crops.

 

Classroom Activity

After reading about William Kamkwamba’s windmill, students can harness their creativity to design and built wind-powered cars. A basic wind car design has a base, wheels, and a sail. Have students sketch a design for their wind car. Next, students can brainstorm easy-to-find materials they can use to build their cars. What will they use to build the base? The wheels? The sail? Have students gather the materials and attempt to build their design. What adjustments, if any, do they need to make to the initial design? Once the cars are built, test how well they capture wind power. Which designs perform the best? Why?

 

Green Energy

by Jasmine Ting

Have you ever considered the energy we use to power our lives? Our houses, our tablets, our handheld games and phones all require it. That won’t stop anytime soon. What scientists want to do is find sustainable energy that will lead us to a green future. This book explains what green energy is, the types of green energy available to us, and how each is put to work for us through technological innovations.

 

 

Classroom Activity

What types of renewable energy are being used in your community? Have students form small groups to research renewable energy use. How could renewable energy sources replace fossil fuels in the community? What types of renewable energy would be the easiest to implement? What types would be the most difficult? How and where would the renewable energy be used? Have each group prepare a presentation that highlights their renewable energy recommendations for the community.

 

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Carla Mooney loves to explore the world around us and discover the details about how it works. An award-winning author of numerous nonfiction science books for kids and teens, she hopes to spark a healthy curiosity and love of science in today’s young people. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, three kids, and dog. Find her at http://www.carlamooney.com, on Facebook @carlamooneyauthor, or on Twitter @carlawrites.

 

STEM Tuesday — Renewable Energy — Book List

 

 

Renewable energy is the future of our planet. The titles below help readers to make sense of it. From easy-to-read text, to fabulous photos and fun hands-on experiments, curious scientists will gain an understanding of the different forms of energy and what exciting innovations are headed our way to make sure we are powered up for years to come, and still keep our planet green and healthy.

 

Coming Soon - Nomad Press

 

Renewable Energy: Power the World with Sustainable Fuel with Hands-On Science Activities for Kids

written by Erin Twamley and Josh Sneideman, illustrated by Micah Rauch

With prompts, projects and questions, this book tells us how switching from nonrenewable energy sources to renewable ones, like solar, wind, biofuel, hydro and geothermal energy can make our lives and that of our planet’s, better and healthier.

 

 

 

 

 

Cover: Renewable Energy in Infographics

 

 

Renewable Energy in Infographics

by Alexander Lowe

For students who learn better visually, this book is a great intro to renewable energy, with images and graphics and comparative information about renewables. Includes hands-on experiments too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Climate Change and Energy Technology 

by Rebecca E. Hirsch

Climate change is partly because of the way we use energy. This book tells us how scientists and engineers are testing new sources of energy, and explores whether these can help us fight climate change.

 

 

 

 

 

Green Energy

by Jasmine Ting

Have you ever considered the energy we use to power our lives? Our houses, our tablets, our handheld games and phones all require it. That won’t stop anytime soon. What scientists want to do is find sustainable energy that will lead us to a green future. This book explains what green energy is, the types of green energy available to us, and how each is put to work for us through technological innovations.

 

 

 

 

978-0-531-24443-2

 

The Alternative Energy Book Set

Solar Power by Laurie Brearley

Water Power by Laurie Brearley

Geothermal Power by Laurie Brearley

Wind Power by Matthew Ziem

Four books that provide a great introduction to four types of renewable energy solutions.

 

 

 

Birds vs. Blades?: Offshore Wind Power and the Race to Protect Seabirds

 

 

Birds vs. blades?: offshore wind power and the race to protect seabirds

by Rebecca E. Hirsch

This book reminds us that trying new kinds of energy comes with problems we may have not thought of. A good introduction to one of those problems involving seabirds and windpower.

 

 

 

Energy Lab for Kids: 40 Exciting Experiments to Explore, Create, Harness, and Unleash Energy by Emily Hawbaker, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

 

Energy lab for kids: 40 exciting experiments to explore, create, harness, and unleash energy

by Emily Hawbacker

Do you want to know about the different types of energy and how they help us in our everyday lives? Potential, kinetic, chemical, radiant and thermal energy: they affect us daily. This book provides activities that explore the different components of energy: from what it is, to how it’s discovered and used, and how we can save it. If you like hands-on fun, this is the book for you!

 

 

 

Energy from Water: Hydroelectric, Tidal, and Wave Power (Next Generation Energy)

 

 

Energy from Water: Hydroelectric, Tidal, and Wave Power

by Nancy Dickmann

For centuries, water has been used to create energy. It’s called ‘hydroelectricity’ and it’s considered clean energy. Scientists today are finding new ways of using it to help us build a sustainable future. From rushing rivers, to ocean waves, water is being used to create electricity in new and exciting ways. This book makes sense of all the ways water works for us.

 

 

 

Biofuels by Kate Conley

Biofuels

by Kate A Conley

Did you know plants such as corn and sugarcane are powering cars? These are considered biofuels, and they’re beginning to replace gasoline. Take a closer look at the biofuel industry and how it’s making inroads. Lots of resources are included in this engaging, easy-to-read book.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See related product detail

 

 

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, Young Reader’s Edition

written by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer, illustrated by Anna Hymas

An exciting memoir of a boy living in a drought-stricken village in Malawi, who builds a windmill from scrap, with the help of science books at the school library, and brings electricity to his home to pump water for crops.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Planet Earth: The Evolution Of You And Me - Readings

 

 

From Sunshine to Light Bulb

by Michael Bright

From switching on the light, to turning on the TV, electricity flows to activate each, but how? This book follows the journey of electricity from start to finish, taking a look at how sources of energy are examined to how grids help make it available across the land and sea. In addition, it takes a peek at several real-world examples, allowing for discussion of nonrenewable resources versus green energy.

 

 

 

 

Shruthi Rao is an author. Her home on the web is https://shruthi-rao.com

 

 

 

Susan Summers is a wildlife enthusiast and an author. Contact her at: https://susan-inez-summers.weebly.com/