The connections and directions we go in our Unit of Inquiry on Energy never cease to amaze me… Having spent last week talking about the pros and cons of energy sources, we finished up the week discussing wind energy. The Grade 3 teachers had bumped into a book called “Energy Island“, which we wanted to share with the students as it was all about a very windy island. Now seemed like the perfect time! The people of the island had won a contest trying to make themselves energy independent, and this book described the different stages of their thinking, planning and building. The Smartians were absolutely riveted by this book… and the question inevitably came up at the end of it whether this was a fiction or non-fiction book?!! A search on YouTube came up with the answer… YES! This island actually does exist and it is called Samso Island – there are even videos of the actual island, with the very same people mentioned in the book!! Well, the excitement went rippling through the classroom – imagine if THEY could design an energy independent community… could WE SMARTIANS also do it??!! What would the name of OUR community be? What would OUR houses look like? What energy sources would WE use?? The possibilities were so exciting, so we got right down to brainstorming different names for our community and different topics that we would need to think about in our preplanning. The end result of the name voting for our community was… ElectroSmartia!!! The holiday weekend came all too quickly, but everyone went off home brimming with thoughts of how will they plan out their house and how will they build it? I brought in an example model to show them the possibilities. However, will theirs be a real model made out of boxes etc. or would it be a virtual model using the computer program, Mindcraft? So many plans…so many plans to do!!! What fun!