K-12 Resources

We empower K-12 education wherever possible, engaging community youth in fun activities pertinent to renewable marine energy. Our curriculum was developed in conjunction with Oregon Sea Grant.

Wave Energy 101
Find explanations for how mechanical energy from waves is transferred to electrical energy through marine hydrokinetic devices.

Build-It-Yourself Wave Energy Converter
View directions for building in-the-classroom (and functional) wave energy devices. Kits are available through all STEM learning centers.

Coloring Pages
Learn as you color with our informative, printable sheets!

K-12 Students

Coloring Pages

Oregon Sea Grant has developed coloring pages as a fun way to explain the many roles of marine energy. Click the picture titles to print  each coloring page associated with that topic.

Engineering

      Engineering

Testing

     Test Facilities

Benthic Ecology

    Benthic Ecology

Acoustics

        Acoustics

Outreach

         Outreach

K-12 Teachers

Oregon Science and Engineering Design Standards

Meet Oregon science and engineering design standards by building a model WEC. Curriculum developed by Oregon Sea Grant and the Hatfield Marine Science Center is suitable for students 4th grade through high school. Click link to view and print step-by-step instructions. Wave Energy Engineer: Building a Model Wave-Energy Generator


For questions, please contact:

Ruby Moon
Marine Renewable Energy Associate     541.574.6534  ext.: 18

 

Oregon Engineering Design Standards 

4.4D.1   Identify a problem that can be addressed through engineering design using science principles.

4.4D.2   Design, construct, and test a prototype of a possible solution to a problem using appropriate tools, materials, and resources.                

7.4D.2   Design, construct, and test a possible solution using appropriate tools and materials. Evaluate proposed solutions to identify how design constraints are addressed.             

8.4D.2   Design, construct, and test a proposed solution and collect relevant data. Evaluate a proposed solution in termsof design and performance criteria, constraints, priorities, and trade-offs. Identify possible design improvements.                                             

H.4D.2  Create and test or otherwise analyze at least one of the more-promising solutions. Collect and process relevant   data. Incorporate modifications based on data from testing or other analysis.   

H.4D.4  Recommend a proposed solution, identify its strengths and weaknesses, and describe how it is better than alternative designs. Identify further engineering that might be done to refine the recommendations.                                                                           

Oregon Science Standards

4.1P.1    Describe the properties of forms of energy and how objects vary in the extent to which they absorb, reflect, and conduct energy.              

6.2P.2    Describe the relationships between: electricity and magnetism, static and current electricity, and series and parallel electrical circuits.                               

8.2P.2    Explain how energy is transferred, transformed, and conserved.

H.2P.3   Describe the interactions of energy and matter including the law of conservation of energy.

H.2P.4   Apply the laws of motion and gravitation to describe the interaction of forces acting on an object and the resultant motion.                          

Build a Wave Energy Device

Teachers: Your Students Can Build Their Very Own Wave Energy Converter in Your Classroom! Sea Grant curriculum introduces students to wave energy with hands-on activities

By Nancy Steinberg

Wave energy developers always build small-scale versions of their devices to test in the lab before scaling up to the full-size converters they will install and test in the ocean. But no wave energy company has built one as small as the one Ruby Moon is showing me. This one, less than a foot long including its mooring, probably couldn’t power a blender, but its significance is much greater than its size.

Teachers

Moon is the Marine Renewable Energy Program Associate with Oregon Sea Grant Extension. Her very first project in that position was to develop a wave energy curriculum built around construction of this very simple miniature wave energy converter that can actually produce a tiny voltage.

The diminutive device was the brainchild of Bill Hanshumaker, Chief Scientist at the Oregon State University Hatfield Marine Science Center Visitor Center, and Alan Perrill, a volunteer docent at the HMSC VC. It was Moon’s job to pull together their notes on the device’s construction with background on marine renewable energy into a user-friendly and attractive guide for teachers.

"If you’re not used to teaching these kinds of topics, it can be intimidating," Moon acknowledges. "I laid out the construction of the device in simple steps so teachers could teach it with confidence and ease."

The resulting Wave Energy Handbook provides the instructions to build the tiny device, a point absorbing type of wave energy converter, using materials like a fishing bobber, fishing line, copper wire, rare earth magnets, and a suction cup. (Moon made her prototype device at home, and, not having any fishing line around, used dental floss. The device worked like a charm.) "Almost all of the materials you need can be purchased at a hardware store or Wal-Mart," Moon says.

Preview of PDFEssentially, a plastic test tube is wrapped with coils of copper wire. A float (the fishing bobber) suspends a rare earth magnet which bobs up and down within the coil, generating electricity. Ends of the copper wire are connected to a voltmeter to measure energy output. The whole device can be tested in a makeshift wave tank; instructions for assembling one from a plastic storage tote and some wooden dowels are included in the handbook.

The Wave Energy Handbook includes the instructions, a materials list, and extensive ideas for taking the lesson beyond simple construction. "The guide includes a list of variables that affect voltage so students can hold all of them constant except for one and experiment to find out how to get the best voltage output," Moon explains.

The project and associated curriculum materials are aimed at middle school and high school students.

The guide also includes theoretical background on wave energy, diagrams and photos of different types of wave energy devices, information about local wave energy development, and lists of resources for teachers and students. It also lists the relevant science standards that the project fulfills.

Moon points out that the guide includes ideas for how to extend work in the classroom beyond building the device, to include lessons on cost-benefit analyses and discussions of the potential social effectss of wave energy.

To test out the handbook and introduce it to teachers, Moon, Hanshumaker, and Perrill, along with Oregon Sea Grant, presented a workshop for 25 teachers from throughout Oregon. Held at the Hatfield Marine Science Center, the workshop offered the teachers the opportunity to try out building the device and then test it in the wave tank at HMSC.

"All the teachers got their devices to work," Moon reports, "but we did have to do some problem-solving." The teachers were offered a range of materials and needed to figure out the best approach to generating voltage, just as Moon hopes their students will do in the classroom.

"One teacher used a larger-gauge wire, and spaced the coils far apart, so when it didn’t produce a large charge, he had to trouble-shoot," she says.

Photo of kids activity 1   Photo of kids activity 2
Above: High schoolers at 24 June 2014 "Gear Up" event practice building a model wave energy converter, assisted by NNMREC staff and Ruby Moon of Oregon Sea Grant Extension. Click images to enlarge.

Thanks to support from the STEM program at HMSC, each participating teacher took home a tub of materials, enough to build 40 of the small devices in their classroom. Central Lincoln PUD also donated enough money to purchase kits for every middle school and high school in their service district (Lincoln City to North Bend). Kits are also available at HMSC to be "checked out" by any interested teacher. Funding for the project was also provided by Oregon Sea Grant.

Instructions for building the model wave energy device are here, and the entire Wave Energy Handbook is freely available from Oregon Sea Grant.

Moon is excited about the future possibilities for this project. First she wants to publicize the availability of the handbook via publications and presentations at conferences. She and Hanshumaker have already begun to discuss the possibility of designing another type of miniature wave energy device, and she has many ideas for expanding the handbook into a full-blown curriculum that could cover an entire school term.

"There’s no other curriculum out there that covers this information," she says. "We’re on the cutting edge."

"If we want to strengthen a discourse (on the topic of alternative energy), you do that through kids," she says. "They’re going to bring this stuff home, get excited about it, talk about it at the dinner table. That’s how you generate a movement."

Coloring Pages

Oregon Sea Grant has developed coloring pages as a fun way to explain the many roles of marine energy. Click the picture titles to print each coloring page associated with that topic.

 

Engineering

      Engineering

Testing

     Test Facilities

Benthic Ecology

    Benthic Ecology

Acoustics

        Acoustics

Outreach

         Outreach