In this lesson, students are introduced to biomass energy and use algebra to calculate the amount of land needed to produce biofuel using different plants.
Step 1 - Inquire: Students watch a video on biofuels and discuss how biofuels are similar to or different from other renewable energy sources.
Step 2 - Investigate: Students complete real-world math problems that compare the amount of land needed for various biofuel crops.
Step 3 - Inspire: Students explore the current use of biomass in their region using this map and discuss potential benefits and drawbacks to increasing biomass energy in their community.
Positives
Students have opportunities to think critically about the topic of renewable energy in their community.
Students have the chance to use math in a real-world application, which makes it more relevant and engaging.
Additional Prerequisites
This is lesson 4 of 5 in our 6th-8th grade Renewable Energy Algebra unit.
This lesson could be used as a standalone lesson if desired.
Differentiation
Teachers can have students work with a partner on the calculations in the Investigate section and purposefully group students based on skill level.
Teachers can work in a small group with students who may need additional assistance with the calculations.
Teachers can limit the number of questions students complete. Questions get progressively more difficult on the Student Document.
This lesson introduces students to biofuels and how they are sourced, including the supply chain. It does not only equip them to compute the acres of land needed to grow crops to produce biofuels but allows them to compare biofuels with other renewable energy sources, including the benefits and limitation to scale up. All the materials have been fact-checked, and they are suitable to build students' knowledge on the topic. Hence, this lesson has passed our science credibility process.