Educators everywhere are always looking for a way to incorporate Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education into curricula. A National Science Foundation funded project through N.C. State University and the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center provides educators the resources as well as opportunities to incorporate live data collection into the classroom through the Green Research for Incorporating Data in the Classroom (GRIDc) project. With sensors connected to various instruments throughout the renewable energy systems located at the solar center, data can be collected so that it may be analyzed, synthesized, and ultimately evaluated by researchers, educators, and students. Such data provided are power and energy readings from the photo voltaic (PV) Systems, wind turbines, solar thermal hot water heaters, in addition to temperatures of the passive solar design of the house.
Data is set to be collected as well as uploaded every 15 minutes and will be stored so that it may be accessed daily, monthly, or yearly. When data is accessed, it is capable of being viewed or downloaded as a spreadsheet or graphic representation. It is in the hopes of GRIDc that data will be incorporated into various curricula in order to create a data-rich environment for students to develop higher-order thinking skills. Lessons, such as relating meteorological variables (wind speed, sun’s irradiance, ambient temperature, and module temperature) to energy and power production or comparing various green technologies for efficiency, equip students with the experience of organizing visual representations of collected information. Data from GRIDc will is not limited to educators and students strictly for use in lessons but it is also intended for use by researchers looking at how a data-rich environment can affect students’ thinking skills. Through such research it is possible to better prepare students for working as well as communicating in such data-rich environments.
For use of the data, available lesson plans, or more information please visit http://www.gridc.net/