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Event-Based Science

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What is Event-Based Science?

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Event-Based Science meets National Science Education Standards!



Event-Based Science is a new way to teach middle school science. It is an award-winning, standards-based program in which newsworthy events establish the relevance of science topics; authentic tasks create the need-to-know more about those topics; and lively interviews, photographs, Web pages, and inquiry-based science activities create a desire to know more about those topics.

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Blackout! is an Event-Based Science module about electricity. It uses power outages in the west and northeast to establish the context for exploring concepts related electricity and solar activity. The task in Blackout! puts the study of electricity in a real-world setting by having students pretend to work for a power company that experiences a blackout. Their job is to find the cause or causes for the blackout.


NSTA Recommends Blackout!

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As with all Event-Based Science modules, much of the information that students need is provided in the pages of Blackout!. However, more information is useful. Information about power companies and solar activity will add to the authenticity of your study.

Below are some World-Wide Web sites where additional information is available. Click on the highlighted words and be linked with helpful sites.

Blackout! Resources

A "pdf" file containing web sites, books, material lists, and correlations with National Science Education Standards.
Use the BACK button in your browser to return to this page.

HTML version

EBS Breaking News
Click here to use Google News to search and browse 4,500 continuously updated news sources for breaking news about electricity and blackouts.

Links to Blackout! related WEB Sites
(Links are checked monthly. They were working on the date of the last update.)


  • Image from NASABlackout Hits U.S. and Canadian Cities High-resolution Images from NASA A power failure left many American cities in the dark on the evening of Thursday, Aug. 14, 2003.
  • IMAGE Education Center This NASA public outreach site is packed with Blackout!-related information; classroom activities; resources; movies, pictures and sounds; 1800 FAQs; and a student magnetometer project.
  • Sunspot Archive This chart shows the annual average of daily sunspot readings beginning in 1700. The numbers are compiled from measurements made by a worldwide network of cooperating observatories. Open this data file with Microsoft Excel.

Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison's Invention Complex moved from Menlo Park, NJ, to Greenfield Village, Dearborn, MI.

Thomas Edison was Henry Ford's life-long hero. Edison and Ford became close friends as adults. And when Mr. Ford started building Greenfield Village he wanted to pay special tribute to the greatest of all inventors. What better way to do this than to restore the place where so many of Edison's inventions took place?

There was problem... Edison's original Menlo Park complex almost completely dismantled by neighboring

farmers after Edison moved to West Orange, NJ in 1887. Only a year after Edison had left Menlo Park cows wander through the buildings, and a chicken farmer allowed his flock to make the laboratory their home! Soon thereafter local residents began using the dilapidating building's boards to repair their own barns and hen houses. A severe storm blew what was left of the building over in 1913.

With Mr. Edison's help, many of the original boards were found, others were regained through purchase of the sheds and other farm buildings mentioned above. Edison himself supervised the reconstruction of his building at Greenfield Village.

Thomas Edison's Menlo Park Laboratory







 intrance to the lab.

Photo by Stephen Wright, Copyright 2013 EBS Institute

The lab 







Photo by Stephen Wright, Copyright 2013 EBS Institute

Thomas Edison's Laboratory
Thomas Edison's Menlo Park Machine Shop

Photo by Stephen Wright, Copyright 2013 EBS Institute

Photo by Stephen Wright, Copyright 2013 EBS Institute

Edison Illuminating Company - Station A

Station A was the first of the Edison Illuminating Company’s early power plants in Detroit Station and one of the first electric power plant in the city of Detroit. Station A served Detroit customers with safe and inexpensive direct current (DC) electrical power for homes and businesses from 1886 to 1900. This replica is one-quarter the size of the original. It was built Greenfield Village 1944.

First House Wired for Electric Lights

Sally Jordan’s boarding house in Menlo Park, New Jersey was the first home to be wired for Edison’s new electric light.  The wires were mounted on the ceiling and walls and exposed for all to see.. 

The house was moved to Greenfield Village, MI. By Henry Ford.

The first 







 house wired for electricity.

Photo by Stephen Wright, Copyright 2013 EBS Institute

  • Space Weather Space weather refers to violent transfers of matter and energy from the sun to the Earth. This web site tells all about this important, and costly, problem and what we can do about it.
  • Aurora Explained Aurora Facts, Suggested Aurora Reading, Aurora Research Milestones, Aurora Induction Demonstrators.
  • Aurora Predictions The Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska (Fairbanks) offers up-to-date predictions of the position and strength of Auroras.  
  • Water circuit analogy to electric circuit
  • Video - Electrical Explosion on Live News<


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