Penn StateM3 Hybrid Electric Vehicle Education



Thanks for your interest in GREATT, which was funded by grants from the National Science Foundation's Graduate K-12 Program.

An outreach project of The Pennsylvania State University, GREATT and its predecessor project "M3" were designed to enhance K-12 students' understanding of and interest in science, engineering, and technology careers. Hybrid and electric vehicles were used as a thematic basis for learning. Graduate fellows in the project visited Pennsylvania schools hundreds of times, leading children and teachers in hands-on activities related to the fellows' research in diverse science and engineering fields.

Although the GREATT and M3 projects have ended, funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Education enabled us to develop innovative instructional modules on a number of interesting transportation-related sciences and technologies, including "memory metals," alternative fuels, and the science of automotive air bags. These instructional modules are available though the Lessons link to the left.

A few comments about the GREATT lesson plans: There are many lesson plan sites on the web, and for any popular instructional topic, it is easy to find dozens or even hundreds of plans that contain the minimal information needed to teach the topic. Unfortunately, most plans rarely go into much depth, so teachers or students who want to dig deeper into the science may find themselves frustrated. And it often seems that the more one searches, the more one finds similar variations on the same basic treatment. This situation is understandable. If you're a teacher looking for a classroom-ready lesson plan to use tomorrow, simple is nice. And if it's a topic that you've taught many times, you probably know the subject matter well already.

The lesson plans here--like NSF's GK-12 program--were motivated by different goals. We aspired to bring cutting-edge new science and engineering content into classrooms. Most of our lessons explore topics that are being researched today, and they explore subject matter that few teachers have studied. So you may not find a lot of lesson plans on other websites that address these topics. Someday, you probably will! Anticipating that, we structured our efforts to produce the lesson plan equivalents of "primary sources." We have erred on the side of providing a lot more information than any teacher is likely to need to teach a good lesson. But we've also provided the lesson plans in both abbreviated and extended formats, and all of the materials are provided as word processor documents. Feel free to adapt these lessons, simplify them, or even translate them into another language. But if you do, please include a pointer back to this website, so future readers will know where to look if they'd like to see the original version.


Pennsylvania Transportation Institute Future Truck National Science Foundation Graduate Automotive Technology Education