In this lesson, students refresh their knowledge of renewable energy sources while working to improve their data analysis skills, build their research skills, and learn about engineering design.
Step 2 - Investigate: Students analyze data about energy sources and use from the Energy Information Administration.
Step 3 - Inspire: Students engineer a solar over to further understand the renewable power of the sun and learn about the engineering design cycle.
Accompanying Teaching Materials:
Students watch and discuss.
Students analyze data to understand fossil fuel consumption vs renewable energy consumption.
Students research their own city to understand the major energy sources used in their city (Optional depending on time)
Extension: Students examine the politics that influence the use of renewable energy.
Students engineer a solar cooker to further understand the power of the sun.
Non-lab option- Students research and write.
This lesson follows the NGSS cross cutting concept Influence of Science, Engineering and Technology on Society and the Natural World. Specifically related to “the uses of technologies and any limitation on their use are driven by individual or societal needs, desires, and values; by the findings of scientific research; and by differences in such factors as climate, natural resources, and economic conditions. Thus technology use varies from region to region and over time” (NGSS).
Students should have background knowledge of energy. For example, why we use energy for electricity and powering transportation. Additionally, they should know how electricity is generated. The “Inquire” videos will help refresh the students' background knowledge regarding energy use.
There is a non-lab research-based option for the Inspire section.
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