This module-based online learning platform encourages middle level students to find solutions to real-world engineering challenges in science safety. Designed to complement existing science, engineering, and technology curricula, the first module, Portable Electrical Power, explores the science of lithium-ion batteries and the safety challenge of potentially “exploding” batteries. The module begins with an interactive video that introduces the phenomenon of thermal runaway, presents tests scientists conduct to evaluate the safety and durability of batteries, and requires students to complete virtual safety tests to see how a battery in a hovercraft performs under adverse conditions. Students then do hands-on activities in the classroom, investigating questions pertinent to battery safety: Can the heat energy in a battery be seen? What is the best material to protect a battery pack from the outside world and the battery’s own heat? Can you design a hoverboard that’s not too hot to touch? The module concludes with synthesizing challenges for the entire class—Design and Sell a Personal Transportation Device to the World and Design a Hoverboard Safety Public Service Announcement for the World—the results of which students can share online with the Xplorelab community. See http://ulxplorlabs.org.
Full Link: http://ulxplorlabs.org/