Every teacher will tell you students all have different ways of learning. Visual learners prefer informational they can see through manuals, graphs, diagrams, charts, and others. Auditory learners learn through listening to speech out loud. Kinaesthetic learning involves learning by doing and taking an active part through hands-on experience, while reading/writing learners feel more comfortable with reading or writing words on a page in order to retain information.
The difficulty many teachers face when creating teaching materials and lesson plans is combining all of these approaches into a single, comprehensive lesson. How, for instance, would a lesson be planned for renewable energy education which serves these different types of learners? One way to do this is through STEM kits.
A STEM kit can focus on anything, but the most interesting applications involve demonstrations of certain technologies which would otherwise be hard to show students, such as hydrogen technology. Students can construct, design and race model hydrogen fuel cell-powered cars, for instance, gaining vital skills in renewable energy. Students – through reading the manual, listening to the teacher explain how the kit works, seeing the informational videos, diagrams and charts, and physically constructing the kit itself – comprehensively learn about a topic, and all types of learners are served simultaneously.
This STEAM approach to education – which combines science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math – is quickly gaining ground around the world, and one of the most interesting forms this can take is teaching students about renewable energy. How do the hydrogen-powered technologies of the future actually work? And what role can future technologists play in this renewable energy revolution?
A STEM kit which includes a hydrogen-powered race car, for instance, allows students with different learning styles to see first-hand how hydrogen can be converted into electrical energy. This makes hydrogen and renewable energy education not only extremely fun for all involved, but caters to different types of learners with different learning styles.