BATH TOWNSHIP —Bath High School freshmen in Shaun Blevins’ science class will soon find themselves designing wind turbines and recreating solar panels. And that will just be the beginning.
“The whole goal is hands-on and real-world applications,” Blevins said of a curriculum adopted by Bath, as well as Perry and Van Wert high schools.
Ford Partnership for Advanced Studies developed the “Working Toward Sustainability” curriculum with a two-year grant from the National Science Foundation.
The program is a partnership between OSU-Lima, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Fayetteville State University and high schools in those areas.
The curriculum hits on topics like solar energy, hydrogen, biomass and nuclear power. Along with hands-on lab work and other activities, students will take field trips and hear from experts in the alternative energy field.
While some science classes may touch on alternative energy, Blevins said that’s nothing compared to what students will get in the new program.
“This type of technology, this type of science is becoming very big in the world,” he said. “We want to make sure we get our students exposed to this type of science. … One of the goals is to get them to become more interested, and to help them appreciate it more, as well as science in general.”
Blevins said he hopes students consider STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) jobs. Students know a bit about alternative energy-type careers, he said, but they haven’t been fully exposed to them.
Technology will play a large part in the curriculum, including classrooms getting webcams and other equipment to allow for videoconferencing. Blevins’ students will collaborate with other schools.
“Maybe we do an activity, and then the next day we hook up online and our classes get connected and they can have discussions,” he said.
The technology will also allow teachers to collaborate with one another and get continued professional development, Blevins said.