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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...
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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
Design a 50 Year Energy Plan

What is Our Plan?

Grades:
9-12
Lesson Number:
6
Description:
With all the pieces in place, this Unit’s final lesson asks students to code a spreadsheet that calculates and mathematically predicts the environmental impacts of different energy sources and strategies over a 50 year timespan. Divided into five different...
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Learning Goal(s):
1. Students utilize their knowledge of energy’s impact on global systems as well as the process of energy generation in order to inform their development of a 50-year Energy Plan divided into decades. 
Author:
Bradford Hill
Estimated Activity Length:
5 hours

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...
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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

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...
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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

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...
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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

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...
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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

Part 2 - Lesson 2: Wind Energy

Grades:
6-12
Lesson Number:
5
Description:
Students will learn about wind and how wind varies across geographies. Students will use Vernier Wind Turbine kits or homemade wind turbines to experiment with blade angles and wind speed. During experimentation, students will collect data as blade angles...
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Learning Goal(s):
1.Students will conduct an experiment where blade angles are the variable and wind speed is constant.2.Students will conduct an experiment where blade angles are constant and wind speed varies.3.Students will 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 research prevailing winds and use a provided map of their region to indicate wind speed and direction.5.Students will propose locations for wind farms based on optimal energy generation and zoning restrictions.6.Based on their proposals, students will determine a range of potential kilowatt generation from wind power.
Author:
Jonathan Strunin
Estimated Activity Length:
10 hours

Part 2 - Lesson 3: Solar Energy

Grades:
6-12
Lesson Number:
6
Description:
Students will work with local government staff or another local energy professional to propose a way to create enough solar power energy to supply the annual energy needs for a real building. Students will be provided with on-site options, and will evaluate...
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Learning Goal(s):
1.Students will conduct an experiment to determine how electrical output changes as solar panels as the azimuth and tilts are incrementally changed.2.Students will conduct an experiment to determine how electrical output changes as solar panels are shaded.3.Students will work with the staff from your city or town to calculate the amount of potential electrical energy that can be collected from solar panels based upon the location and size of the system.4.Students will use existing solar data to determine the number of solar panels required to power the building in question.
Author:
Jonathan Strunin
Estimated Activity Length:
6 hours

Part 3 – Lesson 1: A Plan for Renewable Energy Goals

Grades:
6-12
Lesson Number:
7
Description:
Students will utilize their home energy audits from Part 1, the information they gathered from the wind and solar assessments in Part 2, and the knowledge they gained from the solar project in Part 2 to devise a plan for your city or town to meet renewable...
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More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
1.Students will utilize previously acquired information about energy needs to create a renewable energy proposal for their city or town.2.Students will perform a solar energy audit on their homes and use class averages to calculate the amount of renewable energy that can be generated on residential properties.3.Students will assess where commercial and local government solar projects can occur within the city or town 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 prepare a brief PowerPoint presentation that summarizes their comprehensive plans that will be presented to a panel of elected officials or local experts/stakeholders.
Author:
Jonathan Strunin
Estimated Activity Length:
4 hours
Earth Sun

School Energy Hunt

Grades:
3-4
Lesson Number:
1
Description:
The purpose of this lesson is to help students understand that everything that is powered by energy comes from a source from nature. This is meant to be an introductory lesson on identifying sources of energy
Energy Content:
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Learning Goal(s):
At the end of this lesson students will be able to list equipment in the school that is powered by energy. They will also be able to identify the various types of energy that power the equipment.
Author:
Lisa Morgan
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour

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