Melissa Salpietra, NOVA scienceNOW
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About Teaching Climate Literacy
4.3 Fossil and bio fuels contain energy captured from sunlight.
4.7 Different sources of energy have different benefits and drawbacks.
Various sources of energy are used to power human activities .
3.1 The Sun is major source of energy for organisms and ecosystems.
3.2 Food is a biofuel.
Benchmarks for Science Literacy
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Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy |
- Use along with your photosynthesis unit to create real-world relevance and increase student interest, then go to an activity on biodiesel.
- There is a lot of jargon in the audio, so teachers may need to address this important new vocabulary.
- Addresses what algae are and how they produce oil that can be used as a biofuel. Compares algae to land plants as a source for biodiesel.
- This resource is partially a video and partially an interactive. It does a great job connecting the dots between photosynthesis and bio-fuels.
- Could be used to introduce a unit on photosynthesis.
About the Science
- Presents and animates each step in the process of turning algae into biofuel.
- Comments from expert scientist: This activity is a great introduction to algal biofuels for the middle to high school levels. Dr. Niyogi who runs a research lab investigating very physiological effects of genetic algal mutations has been on PBS Nova describing a number of topics. This is appropriate for a biology course, without diving into the biochemistry details of photosynthesis, sugars to lipids production, and transesterification of the lipids to biodiesel. This resource would not be appropriate from a biochemistry point of view.
About the Pedagogy
- Engaging animations divided into bite-size mini-videos break down the process of understanding in an effective way. Allows time between segments for students to ask or answer questions and reflect on what they've just seen before clicking on to the next segment.
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