Students At The Community School in Spokane Learn About Energy

Our students are missing out on so much during this pandemic: friends, social events, sports and classroom work. Take a moment to see some classwork from earlier this year, at The Community School in Spokane.

Video transcript -

Matthew Inman: Today we're on a field trip to take a look at the water power systems in the heart of downtown Spokane. Students are gaining a better knowledge of how generators work. They're going to be building their own hand crank generators, exploring Faraday's Law and getting some experience with the mathematics around that, doing analysis and learning some about electricity as well. Get an N equals equation where you can plug in all those things you know. I gave you B. The manufacturers of the LEDs gave you the voltage, 2.2. You measure ...

Speaker 2: Well, right now in class we're learning how electricity is generated and by doing that we are using Faraday's Law to make our own little crank generators here with magnets and nails. And our next step is having to wrap a wire around it a lot of times to be able to generate the electricity.

Matthew Inman: So this is a particular passion of mine, energy education, learning science, learning math, learning engineering, and learning about society and how to tackle our bigger problems. I'm Matthew Inman. I'm a STEM facilitator at The Community School.

Tammy Line Buoy: So my name is Tami Linane-Booey and I am a facilitator at The Community School. And you'll notice that I said facilitator and not teacher. So I am a certified teacher, but at The Community School it's about facilitating learning instead of being the person in front telling kids what to do. Right now for this quarter I am paired with Matthew Inman who is our science lead and I am the career and tech education lead. So together we've created a project called Net Zero. We knew students needed to have physics credit, we knew we wanted to teach them about energy, but how to do it is really where The Community School really shines. So looking around the world right now, being Net Zero, having less carpet emissions is key. And we wanted to work with our partners at Avista. We've worked with them before and we started noticing their billboards and their advertisements about their goal to use renewable resources and to be net zero. And so we thought, perfect partnering, let's do this.

Speaker 5: So basically we're trying to answer the question, what is net zero, how can we achieve it? And my group, we thought it was education is probably the number one thing.

Tammy Line Buoy: One of our great experiences during this first part was to go and see the Catalyst Building, to see this in action, to see somebody in our community. This is actually happening in Spokane, that people are doing the work to achieve what we're asking these students to understand. So they were so lucky to meet with the Avista engineers, to stand on the University Bridge, to look at the Hub Building and look at the Catalyst Building and imagine what could be for Spokane.

Matthew Inman: Our ultimate goal is that they're going to perform energy audits of local nonprofits. So in an earlier project we connected with 41 nonprofits and they're going to be offering their services to one of those nonprofits as groups of three or four students and they'll perform an energy audit of a local building used or owned by a nonprofit, and then provide them with findings and recommendations to become more energy efficient, both hopefully helping the nonprofit financially and also contributing towards this community goal of net zero carbon emissions. We work hard to see that our projects are integrating the subject areas, are connected to the community, and have some sort of authentic product that isn't just something being handed to the teacher just for a grade.


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