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- Jonathan M.
- Wichita, KS
Energy Teacher Resources
Find Energy educational ideas and activities
Watt is going on here? Middle schoolers are learning about energy use and carbon dioxide emissions! In the first part of this lesson, learners measure how much energy different appliances consume and calculate the amount per day. In the second part, they determine the carbon dioxide produced by each appliance and compare their findings to regional data from the US Department of Energy. This practical activity gives learners experience with real-life data and current issues of concern.
Discussion, reading, and critical thinking are only some of the things learners will be doing in this four-part unit on alternative fuels. They read about different fuel sources, how they are manufactured, and the pros and cons of each type. They'll research alternative fuels and use their findings to conduct several panel-style discussions on the topic. Everything needed is included via web links.
Prior to class, individuals visit the Department of Energy website to examine the process of refining oil. After discussing what they learned, they find the Gulf of Mexico on a richly illustrated map that specifically indicates where offshore drilling has taken place. The lesson plan does not occupy a lot of time, but the visuals are impacting and can move learners toward becoming responsible citizens in the future.
In this fuel sources worksheet, learners calculate the E85 alternative fuel costs per gallon compared to the cost of gasoline. Students complete a table to show the comparison prices. They create a triple line graph to show the relationship between the price per gallon of E85, the equivalent price to gasoline and the average price per gallon of gasoline.
Students examine the genome and discuss the ethical and moral issues surrounding it. In groups, they discover the differences between ethics and morals and discuss where the concepts of good and bad come from in society. After reading an article on cloning, they research how technology has changed the major ethical issues today and write an essay on their findings.
High schoolers simulate a meeting of the President's energy task force in order to observe how energy policy may be developed with the input of various groups. Students will form groups with the following roles: lobbyists, members of the government, scientists, and environmentalists.
Students explore alternative energy sources. In this wind energy lesson, students will investigate the difference in the speed and smoothness of wind at different altitudes above earth. Students will use kites, helium balloons, streamers, and a wind speed meter to see the way wind works, they will then discuss their observations and the implications of wind as a renewable resource.
Take a closer look at hydroelectric and geothermal energy with your physical science class. Do the benefits really outweigh the costs to the surrounding areas? After doing some reading about each, small groups discuss and create a presentation about one of the two energy sources. Though this is not a unique assignment, the images, articles, and other resources provided are first class! Links to other related resources and lessons allow you to build an entire unit as well.
Train young political analysts by following the plans outlined here. After reviewing the three branches of the government, small groups analyze the Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act of 2004, identify instances of checks and balances, and write their own bill about public policy and media. The bill is a complicated text, and while there is a jigsaw activity built in, more scaffolding might be necessary. Handouts and assignment sheets are all included in the file. The lesson is part of a larger unit plan; check out the rest of the lessons on the Take the Challenge website.
Upper graders form a "Presidential Task Force," and attempt to make recommendations concerning the future of the national power grid. After a teacher-led discussion which proves that our nation's energy consumption will soon outpace our ability to produce energy, the class studies the main sources of alternative energy and makes recommendations based on which one(s) they find to be the most viable. This important, and realistic, lesson plan will shed light on one of the most pressing issues that will face our country in the near future. A wonderful lesson that is beautifully designed.