In The Great Solar Challenge, fifth grade students at Thomas Sharp Elementary School in Collingswood, Camden County, experienced many hands-on learning opportunities by studying renewable energy sources, including building models of solar cars. They conducted experiments involving solar energy and investigated plant biology. Students educated the community and worked with community leaders to organize a “green” festival.
Through a $9,340 continuation grant from the Hipp Foundation, teachers Robin Hogan, Donna Cackowski, Heather Winkler, Cynthia Evans, and Rachel Whitecar collaborate with sixth-grade teachers to expand the program into environmental studies and a continued study of a wider variety of renewable energy sources. Fifth- and sixth-grade students focus their explorations on the connection between human activity and the environment. Students work collaboratively to engage in problem-based learning and develop solar-powered model cars and build model wind turbines.
Students will grow plants in the greenhouse obtained through last year’s grant, sell plants to their community, and utilize energy produced by solar panels. Minority scientific professionals serve as mentors, advisors, and role models for students.
Teachers involved in this project will participate in a variety of professional development opportunities including a collaborative effort with the local government climate system agency.
For further information, contact:
School - (856) 962-5707