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Last week’s edition of “The Coosa County News” announced two Central High School science teachers, Jacques Mitchell and Mary White, were awarded the Central Alabama Electric Cooperative Bright Ideas Grant. Science coach Shelley Wood shared the following information about the projects that were granted.
Jacques Mitchell’s Weather Wonders project was granted for $734. This project will allow the environmental science students, as well as the earth and space science students, to complete hands-on activities demonstrating various weather-related events in order to understand how and when these weather events occur. Students will participate in heat, density and thermal expansion activities traditionally performed in the physical sciences. Students will use the heat transfer activities to see how heat moves from hot areas to cold areas and how warm air rises and cold air sinks (they will see radiation, conduction and convection). They will apply their observations to the movements of warm and cold fronts and the formation of various weather events such as thunderstorms, tornadoes and hurricanes. The dew point activity will allow the students to understand the concept of precipitation formation while studying dew point, relative humidity, evaporation, sublimation, and condensation. The thermal expansion activities will allow students to see how the effects of weather are used to build buildings and bridges. Hands-on activities enhance student retention of material.
Mary White’s Visual Inertia project was granted for $742. The physical science and physics students study a unit of inertia which includes rotational inertia. This is a concept that is difficult for some of the students to visualize. They discuss and work problems where the velocity of different shaped objects will change because of their different moments of inertia. The kits that this grant will fund will allow the students to conduct experiments where they will see and measure the velocities of objects with different inertias. They will also observe the concepts behind the need for minimum speeds on roller coasters that have upside-down loops.