Thank you DUKE Energy and PEF

Thank you DUKE ENERGY and Polk Education Foundation with a colorful banner.

During the 2020-2021 school year 4th grade students at Dale R. Fair Babson Park Elementary were able to take part in STEM Lab lessons and activities. We were able to do this while keeping within the CDC guidelines, thanks to the generous support of the DUKE Energy and PEF Grant. This grant helped our students explore Heat Transformations, Sound Energy, Weathering and Erosion, Renewable Hydraulic machines, and so much more. Their support has been vital to our work in the STEM Lab this year.  

While exploring Sound Energy the students were each given tuning forks they would tap on the table and then place the tip near a bowl covered in plastic wrap with sprinkles on top. The students were able to see the Sound Energy move the sprinkles. While using the different tuning forks students were able to make the connection between the tuning forks that moved the sprinkles higher and faster as having a higher pitch than the tuning forks that moves the sprinkles a little and those having a lower pitch. The students were able to also place the tuning forks in water and they could observe the water moving in the cup showing the different sound waves. 

During the unit on Weathering and Erosion, students were able to explore different types of weathering and erosion. Students used a large gray tub with sand and water to observe what happens on beaches with erosion from waves. The students were able to put small replicas of hotels and houses along their waterfront and then they made waves with the water that washed up on the shore. The students saw that some of the waves moved the sand at the bottom of their beach, while others moved their structures on their beach. Students also used the same setup to create a river with houses along the riverside. The students used a watering can to simulate how water runs down through the river. They also saw what happened when the river would flood due to large amounts of water. When this happened the students witnessed how the water could cause a new section of the river to develop, houses to fall into the river, and the erosion of the riverbed. 

When we were exploring Renewable and Nonrenewable energy the students had the opportunity to work with hydraulic systems. Each student was given a kit to build either a lift, rake, bridge or crane. The students each created their own structure that was powered by a hydraulic system. Students were able to observe the water pressure moving the arms, levers, and wheels of the different systems. 

Each of these projects was funded through the generosity of DUKE Energy and the Polk Education Foundation. Without their support, these units of study would not have been able to happen. The items necessary for each activity were purchased through the grant funds. 

Exploring Sound Energy

Hydraulics in Action