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Virtual Education Programs

NREL's education team hosts virtual programming for kids.

Virtual Story Time with NREL

Children ages 5–8 are invited to join an NREL staff member as we read a story and complete a related activity each week. Join us at 1:30 p.m. (MT) every Monday or 10:30 a.m. (MT) every Thursday via Microsoft Teams.

Week of Sept. 21: What Is the World Made Of? By Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld 

After learning about the states of matter, we will use water to explore how one substance can exist as a solid, a liquid, and a gas. 

Week of Sept. 28: Running on Sunshine by Carolyn Cinami DeCristofano 

After reading the story, we will see how different colors are affected by sunlight. Students will need a white shirt, a black shirt, and access to the outside (weather permitting). 

Week of Oct. 5: Energy by Andi Diehn 

After reading the story, we will use our mechanical energy to make ice cream! Students will need heavy whipping cream or whole milk, vanilla extract, sugar, ice cream salt, ice, ice cream flavorings (strawberries, cocoa powder, or others), and a quart-size and a gallon-size plastic zip bag.

Week of Oct. 12: Solar Story by Allan Drummond 

After reading the story, we will create a SOLAR bingo card. Students will fill out their own bingo cards with things that are powered by sunshine. Students can either create their own grid or email Meghan Pearson to receive a template. 

Week of Oct. 19: Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty 

After reading the story, we will design a home-based maker space. We will use things we find around the house to build a habitat for an animal of our choice. Students will need to gather supplies from around the house such as cereal boxes, shoe boxes, glue, paper, stickers, tape, straws, and newspapers. 

Week of Oct. 26: The Girl with a Mind for Math: The Story of Raye Montague by Julia Finley Mosca 

After reading the story, we will learn how math surrounds us by talking about some of the naturally occurring mathematical sequences. Students will need coloring supplies. 

Week of Nov. 2: Matter by Andi Diehn 

After reading the story, we will make animals out of gas—also known as balloon animals! Students will need regular balloons, straws, paper, glue, tape, scissors, and any other art supplies they may want. 

Week of Nov. 9: Human Computer: Mary Jackson, Engineer by Andi Diehn 

After reading the story, we will learn more about how computers work by creating our own logic puzzle using IF/THEN cards. Students will need a piece of paper, coloring supplies, and scissors. 

Week of Nov. 16: Energy Island by Allan Drummond

After reading the story, we will learn more about different renewable energy sources and how they work. We will see how we get electricity from a biomass battery, a solar panel, and a wind turbine. 

Week of Nov. 23: No Story Time

Week of Nov. 30: I’m Trying To Love Math by Bethany Barton 

After reading the story, we will learn about mathematical ratios of the body. Students will need coloring supplies and paper. 

Week of Dec. 7: On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne 

After reading the book, we will do a few experiments to help us understand the difference between particles and waves. Students will need three different solid objects such as a block, a toy, and a pencil. They will also need a bowl of water and a flashlight. 

Week of Dec. 14: What Do You Do with an Idea? By Kobi Yamada 

After reading the book, we will discuss our own ideas and turn them into friendly monsters so we can remember they are important. You’ll need balloons, cardboard, pipe cleaners, stickers, an old t-shirt that can be cut up, or other art supplies.

*All supplies are suggestions, and substitutions can be made. If other suggestions are needed, please email Meghan Pearson, and she can provide help with creative options. 

Virtual Science Experiment Series 

NREL's education team is currently developing new virtual science projects and experiments geared toward students in 4–8th grades, but all ages are welcome. If you are a teacher and have suggestions, please contact Meghan Pearson.