How Do We Evaluate Energy Sources?

Design a 50 Year Energy Plan
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Learning Goal(s):

1. Students will develop models of the interaction between atmospheric composition and surface temperature using simple diagrams.
2. Students will reflect on the impact of energy sources and power production on the environment. 

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Building on student’s understanding of energy production methods developed over previous lessons, Lesson 5 asks the class to identify and measure trade-offs between environmental impacts – human needs – and practical costs of different power generation methods to help inform their capstone project to create a 50-year Energy plan for their community. As a class, students engage in a brainstorming session to deliberate what factors should be included in their evaluation rubric. After their brainstorming session, educators carry out a lesson looking at the natural functions of multiple Earth Systems, as well as modern energy generation’s impact on those systems - including climate. From this, students develop models that demonstrate the flow of Carbon on Earth and use that knowledge to inform their capstone projects.