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
Kill-a-Watt Meter

Home Energy Consumption

Grades:
6-8
Description:

Students will calculate the energy consumption of a set of common household devices based on their operating power rating and then investigate the power consumption of other devices in their homes.

+
-
More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
Students will understand power and energy as they relate to their electricity use. Students will be able to calculate energy consumption and the associated costs. Students will investigate ways they could reduce their own energy consumption
Author:
Deb Frankel
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour
Sources of Energy

Energy Review: Practical and Technical Perspectives—What is Energy?

Grades:
4-8
Description:

Students will take a short field trip around the school to identify different types of energy.

+
-
More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
To access prior knowledge about different forms of energy
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:
Author:
Erin Sturtz
Estimated Activity Length:
50 min

Part 1 - Lesson 1: Why Use Renewable Energy?

Grades:
6-12
Lesson Number:
1
Description:

The purpose of this lesson is for students to obtain base knowledge of how renewable and non-renewable energy is generated and identify differences between renewable resources and fossil fuels. Students will research the potential long-term and short-term...

+
-
More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
1.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.
Author:
Jonathan Strunin
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
8 hours
Solar Charger Diagram

Background Research on Alternative Transportation Vehicles

Grades:
10-12
Lesson Number:
2
Description:

Students completing this lesson will already have identified some of the problems inherent in the development of ideas to replace fossil fuels in the transportation sector. Students will now conduct some research to identify some of the pros and cons of...

+
-
More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
1. Students will define BEVs, HEVs, HFCVs, and HICEVs 2. Students will compare the above vehicles and relate the pros and cons of each technology 3. Students will begin to evaluate which type of technology might be best suited for the goal of replacing fossil fuels in the transportation sector 4. Students will begin to brainstorm ideas for how solar energy might be used to enhance these technologies
Author:
Clayton Hudiburg
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour
Fuel Inquiry Poster

Fuels and PV Cells

Grades:
7-8
Lesson Number:
3
Description:

Students will return to the phenomena of energy resources to support safety, health, and comfort in an emergency situation. They will distinguish between how common materials provide energy and develop an understanding of how the atomic and molecular...

+
-
More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
Students explore the conservation of mass in chemical reactions by observing and modeling combustion reactions and exploring the essential question/phenomena, “is all fire the same?” Students will use information resources and a 3D model of a PV cell to understand how solar modules generate electricity. “How do PV cells make electricity?”Students will construct circuits to explore PV modules and variables involved in powering devices. Students evaluate, revise, and justify the energy resources suggested on an emergency preparedness supply list. 
Author:
Melody Childers
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
0 sec
Kill-A-Watt_Meter

How much energy do YOU use?

Grades:
7-8
Lesson Number:
3
Description:

Students will learn the difference between energy and power. They will then use this new understanding to compare the energy and power difference of light bulbs (incandescent, halogen, fluorescent, and LED) using a tool called a “Kill-A-Watt” meter....

+
-
More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
Students will be able to: • Explain the difference between power and energy • Proficiently use a “Kill-A-Watt” meter to determine the power and total energy usage of everyday devices • Compare the total energy used by common household devices • Brainstorm different ways we can conserve electrical energy
Author:
Craig Marais
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
0 sec

Part 1- Lesson 3: Home Energy Audit

Grades:
6-12
Lesson Number:
3
Description:

During this lesson, students will focus on where energy is used within their homes, how energy consumption is calculated, and how energy consumption can be reduced. Students will conduct a home energy audit and determine multiple ways to reduce energy...

+
-
More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
1.Students will identify all ways that energy is consumed within their homes.2.Students will perform an energy audit of their home and calculate the amount of energy used by each electronic device and appliances.3.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.4.Students will explore various ways to reduce energy (goal is 30% reduction).5.Students will propose a variety of energy reduction plans and present those options to their families for discussion.6.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.
Author:
Jonathan Strunin
Estimated Activity Length:
4 hours
Checklist

Home Energy Survey

Grades:
4-5
Lesson Number:
4
Description:

Students will learn how to determine what sources of energy are used in their home. They will determine types of energy used in their home through observation and interviews. This will be documented through a home energy survey sheet that students will...

Energy Content:
+
-
More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
Students will be able to describe the basic principles of various forms of energy and write a detailed description of one of those forms of energy. This written product will include common uses of this form of energy, costs, and basic advantages and disadvantages of using this form of energy.
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:
Author:
Eric Gronseth
Relevant NGSS PE:
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
40 min

Part 2 - Lesson 1: Renewable Energy Panel

Grades:
6-12
Lesson Number:
4
Description:

Students will meet with local planners or other available energy experts to discuss public policy regarding the use of wind turbines and solar arrays to generate electricity. Students develop questions for a panel of professionals regarding considerations...

+
-
More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
1.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 compile criteria for placement of wind and solar energy sources.
Author:
Jonathan Strunin
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour

Pages