Unit Plan: A Community Powered by Renewable Energy

Grades:
6-12
Description:

In this three-part comprehensive place-based and project-based unit, students will learn and apply rebnewable energy content to devise action plans at an individual, family, and local level. Students will use primary and secondary research explore energy...

+
-
More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
LEARNING GOALS – PART 11.Students will define and explain the differences between renewable and non-renewable energy sources.2.Students will research, summarize, and present the (short- and long-term) benefits and drawbacks of utilizing wind and solar energy. 3.Students will research, summarize, and present the (short- and long-term) benefits and drawbacks of utilizing fossil fuels.4.Students will generate questions about the greenhouse gas effect, identify and isolate variables, and then conduct an experiment to answer a class generated question about the greenhouse gas effect.5.Through Socratic seminar, students will use the knowledge gained over the course of this lesson to discuss the potential long- and short-term benefits and drawbacks of using fossil fuels, solar energy, and wind energy.6.Students will define scientific vocabulary related to electricity.7.Students will be able to describe how electricity moves through a conductor.8.Students will draw and describe series and parallel circuits.9.Students will identify ways that energy is consumed within their homes.10.Students will perform an energy audit of their home and calculate the amount of energy used by each electronic device and appliances.11.Students will create a spreadsheet demonstrating the electricity required to operate each electronic device and appliance, along with a summary of finding that clearly identifies how energy consumption can be reduced within their home.12.Students will explore various ways to reduce energy (goal is 30% reduction).13.Students will propose a variety of energy reduction plans and present those options to their families for discussion.14.After discussion with their families, students will itemize the agreed upon plan and identify specific actions that result in quantifiable outcomes that will implemented to reduce energy consumption by their families.LEARNING GOALS – PART 21.Students will gain background information regarding the limitations of having and wind and solar generating infrastructure within city and county limits, including environmental, aesthetic, and cultural considerations. 2.Students will work with professionals to compile criteria for placement of wind and solar energy sources.3.Students will conduct experiments to collect and analyze data to provide a conclusion to the questions: What is the optimal blade angle for generating the most energy? What is the optimal wind speed for generating the most energy?4.Students will use prevailing wind data in your region to examine energy output of various sized small wind turbines as wind speeds incrementally increase.5.Based on local wind speeds, students will determine a range of potential kilowatt generation from wind power.6.Students will conduct experiments to determine how electrical output of solar panels change as the tilt, azimuth, and shade coverage change.7.Students will generate, compare, and evaluate various solar configurations for a solar project in your region.LEARNING GOALS – PART 31.Students will utilize previously acquired information about energy needs to create a renewable energy proposal for your town or city.2.Students will perform a solar audit on their homes and use class averages to project the amount of solar energy that can be generated on residential properties.3.Students will assess where commercial and municipal solar projects can occur within your town or city to meet the energy needs for non-residential consumers.4.Students will determine potential locations for larger-scale wind and solar farms to augment the remaining energy needs of the community.5.Students will prepare a comprehensive renewable energy plan that totals the calculations for potential residential, commercial, and agency renewable energy generation.6.Students will calculate the average amount of energy generated by wind turbines and solar panels in various conditions to determine the quantity of renewable energy sources required to power the city.7.Students will use their projected energy calculations to propose a combination of wind and solar sources to meet your locality’s energy needs, based on benefits and drawbacks of each source of energy.8.Based on prevailing winds and building orientation, students will explore potential sites for wind turbines and solar panels.9.Students will develop a final proposal to meet future energy needs through a combination of energy generation and reduction of energy consumption, prepare a brief slide presentation that summarizes their comprehensive plans, and present their finding to local energy conservation groups and local government staff or elected officials.
Author:
Jonathan Strunin
Estimated Activity Length:
10 hours

Unit Plan: Understand E-Waste Through Battery Design

Grades:
4-5
Description:

In this lesson students will further explore their understanding of energy, electricity, and basic circuits. Students will begin their exploration of batteries by questioning where batteries end up when we are done using them, making connections to e-waste...

+
-
More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
1.Students will make connections to real world problem solving with e-waste.2.Students will explore battery design and transfer of energy through hands on experiments with household items.3.Students will evaluate and analyze problems with e-waste and research solutions.4.Students will draw and label models to explain circuits demonstrating the movement of energy.5.Students will be able to explain how the measured and compared batteries based on the knowledge learned about volts and using a voltmeter.
Author:
Jonathan Strunin
Estimated Activity Length:
10 hours
Design a 50 Year Energy Plan

50 Year Energy Plan - Unit Plan

Grades:
9-12
Description:

Throughout this creative, hands-on Unit, students are challenged to scale up every Disciplinary Core Idea and Science & Engineering Practice they’ve learned - from simple electricity generation, to building their own stereo speakers and DIY electric...

+
-
More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
Explore causes and effects of climate change as related to energy production. Develop a working understanding of varying stakeholder perspectives on the causes and effects of climate change. Through hands-on exploration, build a working speaker that can connect to a cellphone. Use DIY speakers as a model to observe the process of producing electrical currents with a simple generator. Design, build and refine a wind turbine to efficiently convert mechanical energy into electrical energy. Design, build and refine a system that is the most effective at converting the sunlight into electrical energy. Students develop models to study the relationship between the Earth’s atmospheric composition and the Earth’s surface temperatures using simple diagrams. Students reflect on the impact of energy sources and power production on the environment. Students utilize their knowledge of how energy generation processes impacts the environment to inform how and why they develop a 50-year Energy Plan for their local community. 
Author:
Bradford Hill
Estimated Activity Length:
0 sec
Hot Pack

Unit Plan - Chemical Differences in Emergency Energy Sources

Grades:
7-8
Description:

Students develop atomic and molecular models of energy resources, analyze combustion of various fuels and build circuits with Photovolatic (PV) modules to evaluate and suggest revisions to a disaster preparedness supply list. They then research and...

+
-
More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
To build empathy for people in emergency situations and an understanding of how access to energy resources can increase one’s safety, health, and comfort. To understand the nature of a variety of energy needs and how different applications have different optimal solutions. To develop models to explain the molecular and extended structures of energy resources, including how the resources change when energy is generated (Electron movement in PV cells, combustion reactions in fuel). To understand that the properties of substances depends upon the atomic / molecular structure, which changes with chemical reactions. To build a circuit that includes a solar module and measure the voltage and current. To gather and evaluate information to describe the impact on society of converting natural resources into PV cells. To design, build and test a device that uses a chemical reaction to generate or absorb thermal energy. Evaluate and revise a plan for the energy resources one should store to prepare for a natural disaster. 
Author:
Melody Childers
Estimated Activity Length:
0 sec
Photovoltaic Module

How a Solar Cell Works: Photon Simulation

Grades:
4-8
Description:

The purpose of this activity is to simulate the movement of electrons at the p-n junction to create an electrical current. Students will play a modified game of musical chairs, where teams will compete against each other while creating their own...

+
-
More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
To understand how a solar cell operates on the atomic level, through a simulation experience
Pedagogy & Practice:
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:
Author:
Erin Sturtz
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
50 min

How might we design a battery that reduces e-waste? Phenomenon and Exploration

Grades:
4-5
Lesson Number:
1
Description:

During this introduction lesson series students will explore the guiding phenomenon to understand e-waste and connect it to battery design. Students will utilize online resources to learn about problems from e-waste around the world and the environmental...

+
-
More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
1.Students will learn about the phenomenon of e-waste through online resources to explore the history of electronics.2.Students will ask questions and define problems involving the environmental impact of electronics and human impact.3.Students will evaluate and obtain information about electronic waste from online resources such as news articles and videos.4.Students will learn (or review) knowledge of circuits to design a model and explain how a circuit works.
Author:
Jonathan Strunin
Estimated Activity Length:
2 hours

Cost Effective Solar Cells: Researching Chemicals and Materials for Solar Cell Construction

Grades:
9-12
Lesson Number:
10
Description:

This lesson is designed to be completed in three 80-minute sections. The teacher will facilitate student research on solar cell designs centering around the engineering problem: How can we make a cheaper, cleaner or more efficient solar cell? Teachers...

+
-
More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
Students will research chemicals, materials and procedures for their own solar cell designsStudents will write an introduction to the problem, including criteria, constraints, and solar cell conceptsStudents will research and write a rough materials and procedure for the solar cellStudents will research and describe their solar cell designs.
Author:
Tom Wolverton
Estimated Activity Length:
4 hours

Cost Effective Solar Cells: Unique Solar Cell Construction & Testing

Grades:
9-12
Lesson Number:
12
Description:

This lesson is designed to be completed in four 80-minute sections. The teacher will facilitate the construction of unique solar cells for student projects. General chemistry equipment and fabrication equipment will be needed for student construction and...

+
-
More Details Less Details

Cost Effective Solar Cells: Construction Progress and Obstacles

Grades:
9-12
Lesson Number:
13
Description:

This lesson is designed to be completed in one 80-minute section. The teacher will facilitate 3-4 groups as they share their construction progress and obstacles. Students will share individual results in a fishbowl setting and will participate in...

+
-
More Details Less Details

Cost Effective Solar Cells: Unique Solar Cell Engineering Report

Grades:
9-12
Lesson Number:
14
Description:

This lesson is designed to be completed in three 80-minute sections. The teacher will have students write their engineering reports with the following sections: Introduction (taken from Lesson #10), Design (incorporating the model from Lesson #10),...

+
-
More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
Students will format solar cell data into tables and graphsStudents will draw conclusions based on testing dataStudents will construct an engineering report in a research poster format
Author:
Tom Wolverton
Estimated Activity Length:
4 hours

Pages