21st Century Learning at Tech Valley High School
Freshmen at Tech Valley High School construct solar ovens each spring to solve a mathematical and engineering problem posed by teacher Leah Penniman: What is the best shape for a parabolic trough solar cooker to be used in rural Haiti?
The work featured in the videos below is all part of project-based learning at Tech Valley High School that combines several subjects (in this case, math, world knowledge and engineering) to teach students a real-life lesson. In keeping with one of Tech Valley High's missions--partnering business and education experts to the benefit of students--this 2010 spring project involved an architect from Einhorn Yaffee Prescott Architecture and representatives from the Clever Fellows Innovation Consortium who advised the freshmen throughout their work.
In completing the work, the students also meet New York state learning standards for several subjects: math, world knowledge and engineering.
Watch the Project Progress
• Solar Collector Entry Document (PDF)
• Solar Collector Rubric (PDF)
• VITAL NY
Lesson Plan for Grades 6-8: Students experiment with a virtual solar cooker to discover the mathematical relationship among reflection, transmission and absorption.
Cooking Cookies with Solar Power for Grades K-8. In this video segment adapted from ZOOM, the cast tests two homemade solar cookers to determine which one can cook a 's'more' faster.
• PBS Teachers
Lesson Plan for middle school students from Louisiana Public Television: You & Me & UV – Solar Oven.
• The Buck Institute for Education: Project-Based Learning for the 21st Century
Dedicated to improving 21st Century teaching and learning throughout the world by creating and disseminating products, practices and knowledge for effective project-based learning.