For this session, we first started off by splitting into two groups and played the “celebrity game”, where a team member was given a name of a person/something and the rest of the group had to guess what it was in a certain amount of time. There were four rounds played, each round with a different variation of charades.
The continued focus of EnergyNet from last week into this week was acid rain; how it is formed, how it effects ecosystems, and ways the prevalence of acid rain can be reduced. To do this Justin gave a talk on power plant emissions, specifically Sulfur Dioxide and Nitric Oxides, ways these emissions can be reduced, and how acid rain affects ecosystems, primarily its affects on soil. One thing the teens wanted to know more about though was how acid rain affected animal life in these ecosystems, this led to a discussion on food webs and how changes in one part of a system can have drastic consequences for the entire food web.
Next, we had a discussion on what pH was by listing what the teens already knew and having Justin discuss it more in length. It was then used to discuss the relationship with acid rain and how having rain with a lower pH will make it more acidic. The teens then discussed the process of how acid rain is formed and what the major effects of it are on our environment.
Using the information learned and discussed about acid rain, the teens were then split into two groups and given time to create and film an acid rain skit. Each group created their own props, and both were filmed in the Hall of Habitats. After it was filmed, both groups recapped what they learned and were mainly focused on how habitats are being destroyed, affecting both plant and animal life.
The teens acting out, in a play-form, how the process of acid rain formation and its effects on plants and animals.
On Thursday the focus shifted away from teaching about air quality problems and more towards designing the exhibit. To start this off we discussed what we wanted the exhibit to look like and the major goals for the exhibit. Following this we went on a tour of the space where the exhibit will be housed to see how this would affect the design of the final exhibit. After this we went to look at an example of a well designed exhibit, the new Pterosaurs exhibit at the museum. After the teens had awhile to examine the design elements and see what people liked and didn't like about the exhibit we returned to the classroom to discuss what everyone had discovered. The highlight of the day had yet to come though, to end the day everyone was treated to a tour of the amphibians and reptiles section of the museum including a behind the scenes look at some of the research being done!
Teens looking at some of the specimens housed at the museum