The Energy Lab from PBS NOVA Labs is a “virtual research platform for teens to engage in science by working with authentic data and taking part in “citizen science” projects.” Using this interactive online tool, students can pursue “research challenges” and use data to design renewable energy systems for real cities across the U.S. while competing with other players to see whose designs can produce the most power and reduce carbon dioxide emissions to the greatest extent. The Energy Lab also includes a collection of eight short videos that will help students with their Research Challenge.
An educator’s guide is also available and will provide you with ideas for how to use this tool with students. The individual components of the Energy Lab are designed to give educators a range of options for integrating some or all of the Lab into classroom instruction. “From homework enrichment, to science fair project, to a week-long lesson module, the flexibility of the Energy Lab components will help you address the topics of energy, Earth’s systems, technology, engineering, and scientific modeling with your middle school or high school students.”