Almost every day, there are news reports about energy. Whether it's an energy shortage, rising fuel prices or the environment, energy is a topic that is on the minds of many people across the world.
Energy can keep a community or an entire country running. It can drive technology, fuel growth and spark innovation. Ultimately, innovation in the field of energy is going to come from the next generation of engineers and scientists.
In order to help spark the minds of young scientists, one energy company - BP Global - created an educational resource meant to support and inspire students and teachers in the classroom. The resource is called BPES, which stands for BP Educational Service
It is a special area of the BP website that provides free resources, learning materials, videos, interactive activities and much more. All of those resources are provided to help inspire students to think more about the science of energy in the world around them.
Educational Resources From BP
The section of the BP Global website devoted to providing free educational resources related to energy is a bit misleading. When you first arrive at the sparse page, it doesn't appear that there is very much available.
However, once you start clicking and navigating through the site, you'll quickly discover that there's more to the BPES than meets the eye.
The BP Educational Service
Along the top menu bar, you'll find the links to Primary Resources for younger students, Secondary Resources for older students, Teacher videos for educators, and then additional resources in the Ask the Expert section of the site.
The Primary resources section of the site is surprisingly plentiful - with all sorts of activities, teaching materials and other downloads that teachers will find very useful in the classroom. The primary focus of all of these tools and activities is clearly the science of energy, but the lessons and resources can help teachers introduce many important scientific principles in the classroom.
Project Kits, Lesson Plans and Worksheets
Given the fact that mostly everything offered at BPES is completely free, the quality and volume of materials is rather impressive. Each resource you click on in either the Primary or Secondary educational areas will take you to a whole new section of the website that's dedicated to teach specific scientific principles related to energy.
Launch Free Resources
Each area offers "resources" that you can launch. These are sort of like online applications that will launch in a new window. These applications could be anything from an interactive simulation that teaches a science lesson, to a slideshow or video that introduces different lessons and facts to students. All of these can be valuable resources for the classroom.
Resources are Interactive and Fun
Each of the areas where you can launch an activity were clearly professionally programmed and offer well presented, high-quality material for lessons and in-class learning.
Many of the areas introduce concepts to students in fun videos, and then move on into different areas that offer home-based activities.
Activity Sheets are Very Useful
Those activities come complete with instructions that can be printed out and completed in the classroom or at home as an assignment. There are also "curriculum" links as an aid for educators. Many of the activity sheets are also interactive and programmed for use directly from the web page itself, rather than as a printed activity. These are perfect for classroom exercises.
Secondary Level Activities
The Secondary area of the website is for older students, and here you can see BP take advantage of the advanced materials to dive into some of the areas of science that are important to BP and its mission for the future in the energy industry.
Here, students will be able to learn all about alternative energies like wind power, bioethanol, solar energy and more.
Interesting Interactive Activities
Many of the interactive activities in the Secondary area are very interesting, even for adults. Here, students can take part in all sorts of interesting virtual projects, such as analyzing the energy output produced by a windmill when the blade length of the windmill is varied. The application even offers students the ability to record the data to analyze later.
In the "Teacher Videos" section of the site, educators can watch videos of how other teachers around the world have applied many of the activities and projects found at BPES in the classroom. Discover new ideas and find inspiration for your own classroom by watching these informative videos.
Ask the Expert
The Ask the Expert page is an area where you can actually submit questions to an expert that has experience working as a scientist. Here, you'll not only find experts in the energy industry, but also many other branches of science like biology, chemistry and more.
Give the BP Educational Service a try and see if it offers inspiration or ideas on new ways to introduce science in your classroom.
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