AC-DC Tutorials

Discussion in 'Nurturing a Global Community of Knowledge' started by Joseph F McLaughlin, Apr 21, 2016.

  1. Joseph F McLaughlin

    Joseph F McLaughlin New Member

    The BoH conference was outstanding. It involves an unusual mix of people: business, social work/sociological, and engineering/tech. It’s a good guess that many were lost in the technical discussions. Having taught electricity in high school physics classes for many years, I know that the general public has little knowledge of this technology that rules our lives. You can assume nothing- even something as basic as the difference between direct current and alternating current is not necessarily understood (some likely couldn’t even identify what AC means). So I would like to develop a set of instructional/reference/background materials for the site.

    The outline I propose is the following:
    THE NATURE OF DC AND AC ELECTRICITY: some fundamentals
    DC VS. AC POWER TRANSMISSION: the advantages and disadvantages, and the history of Westinghouse/Tesla vs. Edison
    ENERGY GENERATION AND USE IN MICROGRIDS: the present state of the technology and the standards that must be developed.
    DC ENERGY IN THE HOME: Create a “game” in which the player must decide which devices may be used given the microgrid and environmental circumstances.
    HANDS-ON ACTIVITIES FOR CONFERENCES, EXHIBITIONS, ETC.: supportive materials and demonstrations
    GLOSSARY

    Suggestions are welcomed.
     
  2. Joseph F McLaughlin

    Joseph F McLaughlin New Member

    I hope to begin developing a custom-built set of instructional resources. Below are some of the things I’ve found so far, of varying quality. These would serve as background/reference rather than just links off the DC-HEART site.

    THE NATURE OF DC AND AC ELECTRICITY:

    DC VS. AC POWER TRANSMISSION

    ENERGY GENERATION AND USE IN MICROGRIDS
    Both excellent, unlikely we could offer anything better

    DC ENERGY IN THE HOME: A GAME Create a “game” in which the player must decide which devices may be used given the microgrid and environmental circumstances.

    HANDS-ON ACTIVITIES FOR CONFERENCES, EXHIBITIONS, ETC.
    This is an example of the type of device we might have on display for people to play around with: http://tinyurl.com/jvy74la

    GLOSSARY
    Voltage
    Current
    Resistance
    Power
    Alternating Current
    Direct Current

    Some other resources that might be of use:
    http://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulations/category/physics/electricity-magnets-and-circuits
    http://www.physics-chemistry-interactive-flash-animation.com/electricity_interactive.htm
     
  3. Joseph F McLaughlin

    Joseph F McLaughlin New Member

    My vision then is to get others involved to develop this tutorial section, especially University people like physics education and computer science profs and students- I think it would make a great class or capstone project. We could further refine the starting points above and develop a comprehensive tutorial section for the site.
     
  4. Kristy Bronder

    Kristy Bronder Administrator Staff Member

    Thanks for these great ideas and suggestions! I look forward to sharing these ideas with the Business of Humanity team and seeing how we can begin to incorporate these ideas into upcoming projects. Your experience and expertise on these subjects will be very valuable.
     
  5. Joseph F McLaughlin

    Joseph F McLaughlin New Member

    DIGITAL BADGES/ REMAKE LEARNING COMPETENCIES:
    Pittsburgh is one of the leading communities in the US in developing a program of digital badges under
    The Sprout Fund. The best digital badges are designed to create cross-disciplinary experiences for young people by leveraging local resources in formal and informal education. With its combination of business, social work/sociological, and engineering/tech, BoH/DC-HEART is exactly the type of learning opportunity that Remake Learning hopes to tap. I propose then that we develop a DC-HEART badge using these resources:
     
  6. Kristy Bronder

    Kristy Bronder Administrator Staff Member

    This is great information! I have not heard of The Sprout Fund or Remake Learning and utilizing these resources could be an important step in our hope to educate the community on our efforts. I like the idea of creating a DC-Heart digital badge. Thanks again for sharing this information with us.
     
  7. John Camillus

    John Camillus New Member

    Joe, your observation regarding the need to develop and provide information and background materials on DC power and technology is right on the mark. The Business of Humanity team I am sure will support your efforts to the fullest. The digital badges appear to be worth exploring. Thank you for your support and the great ideas.
     
  8. Joseph F McLaughlin

    Joseph F McLaughlin New Member

    We have refined the initial model for teaching "Why DC?" to 3 items:
    • A visit to the BioShelter in Homewood and/or the solar power/ ecological installations in Millvale.
    • Online exercises such as a game in which the microgrid's environmental factors determine consumption by various DC devices, and an accompanying spreadsheet.
    • A workshop in which a solar power device is constructed and used.
    We hope to begin the program with up to 20 high school students in the Homewood and Millvale locations. No date has yet been set.
     
  9. Kristy Bronder

    Kristy Bronder Administrator Staff Member

    Hi Joe,
    Thanks for summarizing our plans for the initial "Why DC?" teaching model. I think these three action items will provide us with necessary focus and a great starting point to move things forward. I'm excited to see what we create and discover along the way.
     

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