Jeff Lockwood, NOVA Teachers
Activity takes about four class periods. Computer access is necessary.Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»
See how this Activity supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 1 Cross Cutting Concept, 5 Science and Engineering Practices
High School: 1 Performance Expectation, 2 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 3 Cross Cutting Concepts, 6 Science and Engineering Practices
Ideal audience are students grade 7-12 but activity can be modified to meet the needs of a college-level "non-major" intro science course.
About Teaching Climate Literacy
Other materials addressing GPg
7.3 Environmental quality.
4.7 Different sources of energy have different benefits and drawbacks.
5.2 Energy infrastructure has inertia.
6.2 Conserving energy.
Excellence in Environmental Education Guidelines
Other materials addressing:
Other materials addressing:
Other materials addressing:
C) Identifying and evaluation alternative solutions and courses of action.
Notes From Our Reviewers
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Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy |
- Educators will need to preview activity to determine what prerequisite knowledge is required before the start of this project.
- Have the groups with "the best" proposals present them to school administrators or community members to raise awareness.
- Educators could use the jigsaw cooperative group method to organize students for this activity - divide students into 4 alternative technology groups and after students have become experts on their one area, reorganize groups to write proposals so that each group has one member from the original alternative energy groups.
About the Science
- Activity addresses concerns about air pollution, CO2 emissions, and the U.S.'s dependence on imported oil and introduces students to the following areas: hydrogen fuel, ethanol fuel, vehicle engineering, and hybrid and electric cars.
- Internet resources are provided as background readings for each area.
- Excellent worksheets and resources.
- Comments from expert scientist: This resource is relevant to current issues (CO2 emissions reduction, alternative fuels, renewable technologies, vehicles) and it can be expanded upon, and will help students think about current and future issues in US.
About the Pedagogy
- Student driven project with collaborative groups working together to create a final presentation.
- Good visual materials are provided.
- Interesting NOVA program clips (8-10 mins each) are provided for each alternative technology.
- Group work, research, discussions and presentations will engage learners of different learning types.
- Sample rubric and assessment questions provided.
Next Generation Science Standards See how this Activity supports:
Cross Cutting Concepts: 1
MS-C5.3:Energy may take different forms (e.g. energy in fields, thermal energy, energy of motion).
Science and Engineering Practices: 5
MS-P1.8:Define a design problem that can be solved through the development of an object, tool, process or system and includes multiple criteria and constraints, including scientific knowledge that may limit possible solutions.
MS-P3.5:Collect data about the performance of a proposed object, tool, process or system under a range of conditions.
MS-P6.6:Apply scientific ideas or principles to design, construct, and/or test a design of an object, tool, process or system.
MS-P7.3:Construct, use, and/or present an oral and written argument supported by empirical evidence and scientific reasoning to support or refute an explanation or a model for a phenomenon or a solution to a problem.
MS-P8.5:Communicate scientific and/or technical information (e.g. about a proposed object, tool, process, system) in writing and/or through oral presentations.
Performance Expectations: 1
HS-ESS3-2: Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.
Disciplinary Core Ideas: 2
HS-ESS3.A2:All forms of energy production and other resource extraction have associated economic, social, environmental, and geopolitical costs and risks as well as benefits. New technologies and social regulations can change the balance of these factors.
HS-ESS3.C2:Scientists and engineers can make major contributions by developing technologies that produce less pollution and waste and that preclude ecosystem degradation.
Cross Cutting Concepts: 3
HS-C2.3:Systems can be designed to cause a desired effect.
HS-C4.1:Systems can be designed to do specific tasks.
HS-C5.3:Energy cannot be created or destroyed—only moves between one place and another place, between objects and/or fields, or between systems.
Science and Engineering Practices: 6
HS-P1.8:Define a design problem that involves the development of a process or system with interacting components and criteria and constraints that may include social, technical, and/or environmental considerations. ￼
HS-P3.3:Plan and conduct an investigation or test a design solution in a safe and ethical manner including considerations of environmental, social, and personal impacts.
HS-P4.6: Analyze data to identify design features or characteristics of the components of a proposed process or system to optimize it relative to criteria for success.
HS-P6.5:Design, evaluate, and/or refine a solution to a complex real-world problem, based on scientific knowledge, student-generated sources of evidence, prioritized criteria, and tradeoff considerations.
HS-P7.6:Evaluate competing design solutions to a real-world problem based on scientific ideas and principles, empirical evidence, and/or logical arguments regarding relevant factors (e.g. economic, societal, environmental, ethical considerations).
HS-P8.5:Communicate scientific and/or technical information or ideas (e.g. about phenomena and/or the process of development and the design and performance of a proposed process or system) in multiple formats (i.e., orally, graphically, textually, mathematically).