Alternative Energy Fair at Riverdale may become a new tradition

Sixth graders at Riverdale spent two weeks in their science classes researching new alternative energy methods. They created presentations on Powerpoint or Prezi along with a 3D model of their energy source. What resulted was a fascinating school wide Alternative Energy Fair (AEF).

Students and adult visitors of all ages enjoyed watching the students muse on smart phones that were powered by implants in the human body, cars powered by day-to-day waste, and other practical solutions aimed at solving one of the world’s greatest problems.

Shannon Miller, a teacher at Riverdale who led the event, became inspired herself by a video she watched on Youtube (click here to view that video). A recent focus on instruction at Riverdale has been to increase student engagement. “I wanted students to be able to collaborate on a larger project that they could share ideas and work together. I think this helped them see the give and take that has to happen in the workplace when ideas are shared,” says Miller on the impetus of the Fair.

“The students were amazing! They learned from each other, and I learned from them. They are so quick to learn new technology and took it further than I ever expected. One group used SketchMe to design a 3D model for a 3D printer that her dad had at work. She taught her entire group how to use the software program. Another group created a working example of human movement being harnessed from bicycles in the gym to power the electricity to keep the lights on,” Miller went on as she described some of the standouts from the AEF.

The AEF may now become Riverdale tradition, as droves of 3rd through 5th graders, parents, and other community member have given rave reviews. The event exemplifies another fine teacher who is going above and beyond to reach her students.

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