Let It Flow – bESTology Week 9

Published by rrfenton on

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Image: redbubble.com

Let It Flow – bESTology Week 9

A BEST teacher once said “Energy flows when knowledge grows”.  This inspirational teacher was referring to the FACT that the more we know and understand a subject, the more brainstorming and innovation can be applied.

Whether it’s food energy for our bodies, wind energy to turn a turbine or mechanical energy to move our cars; we always have room to grow, expand our knowledge and to get the energy flowing.

“We are all connected: to each other biologically, to the earth chemically and to the rest of the universe atomically.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson

To that end we are focusing on how we are connected, how everything flows and the energy required to get there.  Ready, Set, Flow….



It’s a FACT, we are traveling down the road towards Bladerunner.  After analyzing the resources above, brainstorm and create a list of energy sources that fuel animals, plants, vehicles and homes, e.g. fruit, fertilizer, natural gas, etc.  Discuss how “flow” or “movement” are involved to transport each energy source.   Determine how “flow” differs between liquids, solids and gasses when transported.  At the delivery point of a product, discuss how gravitational flow can be used to unload various types of energy sources such as milk, fertilizer, coal, etc. Continue your discussion and evaluate how engineers design trucks, ships, pipelines, power lines, etc. based on “flow”.  Remember, it is always important to conserve energy during transport and delivery to keep costs low for the consumer.


Let’s continue to expand our knowledge and create a FACT booklet.  Expanding on your brainstorming session above, research and collect facts concerning flow and storage of energy.  Each FACT should contain knowledge of how the energy source is stored and/or flows from the producer to the consumer.

Example:  FACT Card #1  – Pigs inspect the flow inside of pipelines!

Pigs inspect pipelines. No, not the farm animals, but robotic devices called pigs because of the squealing sound they make when they travel through the pipelines. Smart pigs, developed in the 1960s, are used to evaluate the inside of the pipeline and ensure that they are safe. Pigs can ensure proper pipe structure and flow, detect signs of corrosion or leaks and also can be used to clean the lines.  Smart pigs are just one of the many ways that the pipeline industry ensures safety. (click HERE for the source

Example:  FACT Card #2 – Ships are built to carry bulk orange juice and other fruit juices!

There are at least eleven dedicated fruit juice tankers currently in operation.  These ships carry orange juice, primarily concentrate, under refrigeration from Brazil to the United States and to Europe and, less frequently, to Asia and the Pacific.  The ships generally are divided into four or five cargo holds into which are placed between one and four refrigerated cylindrical stainless steel tanks specially designed for carriage of orange juice.  Fresh juice is carried at a temperature of -1°C, while concentrated juice is carried at a temperature of -10°C. (click HERE for the source)  

Now that you have the beginning of a collection of FACT cards written, please continue with more of your own.  Once complete, let this knowledge “flow” throughout your community by sharing FACTS with your classmates and family.

BEST Robot:

Let the creative juices continue to flow and predict the tasks your robot will perform this year for Bladerunner.  Using the provided consumable kit components, sketch possible designs of how your robot could deliver various products using “flow”.  Base your sketches on current day engineering designs of ships, trucks and pipelines.  Document your designs by creating a chart/diagram showing the flow of delivering the product from the robot. These technical resources may come in handy this fall!

Community Connection: 

Scavenger Hunt!  How many energy storage “containers” can you identify in your home, school and community?  Refer to the list you generated in the Brainstorm activity – energy sources that fuel animals, plants, vehicles, etc.  Compete against your classmates to find the most unusual container and the largest container.  Invite a guest from a local energy facility to share with your class how “flow” is involved in either storage or delivery of their product.  Display your findings on Facebook.

Bloom’s Taxonomy: analyze, brainstorm, chart, collect, compete, create, diagram, determine, discuss, display, document, evaluate, invite, list, predict, refer, research, share, sketch, write

Workforce Skills: reading comprehension, active listening, critical thinking, speaking, active learning, writing, social perceptiveness, systems analysis, complex problem solving, equipment selection, science, technology design

Categories: bESTology 2014

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