Environmental Literacy and Inquiry Working Group, Lehigh University
Activity takes one 45-minute class period.Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»
See how this Activity supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 3 Performance Expectations, 2 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 7 Cross Cutting Concepts, 10 Science and Engineering Practices
High School: 3 Performance Expectations, 5 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 7 Cross Cutting Concepts, 7 Science and Engineering Practices
1.4 Energy quality degrades over time.
4.1 Humans transfer and transform energy.
4.4 Humans transport energy.
4.7 Different sources of energy have different benefits and drawbacks.
6.3 Demand for energy is increasing.
Excellence in Environmental Education Guidelines
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Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy |
- The webpages referenced in the instructions can be found here: http://www.ei.lehigh.edu/learners/energy/. Please request the password from the developers to access the assessments.
- This lesson could be used as a platform to launch into other more complex issues associated with US renewable and nonrenewable energy sources that are provided within this entire curriculum. This lesson is a great starting point.
About the Science
- The data used is from 2006 and 2007. Educator might want to use more current data when implementing in the class.
- The states examined are California, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington.
- Comment from expert scientist: Identifying the key components to different forms of energy -- production, consumption, and distribution patterns, are explained in good way.
About the Pedagogy
- This lesson is from a 6-week instructional sequence on energy resources. The entire sequence can be found here: http://www.ei.lehigh.edu/eli/energy/sequence/index.html.
- Students examine the US energy production and consumption charts to draw conclusions.
- The paper and pencil exercise, although simple in design, encourages students to take the time to analyze and explore both renewable and nonrenewable energy sources within the US.
Next Generation Science Standards See how this Activity supports:
Performance Expectations: 3
MS-ESS3-1: Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how the uneven distributions of Earth's mineral, energy, and groundwater resources are the result of past and current geoscience processes.
MS-ESS3-4: Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth's systems.
MS-ETS1-2: Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
Disciplinary Core Ideas: 2
MS-ESS3.A1:Humans depend on Earth’s land, ocean, atmosphere, and biosphere for many different resources. Minerals, fresh water, and biosphere resources are limited, and many are not renewable or replaceable over human lifetimes. These resources are distributed unevenly around the planet as a result of past geologic processes.
MS-ETS1.B3:Sometimes parts of different solutions can be combined to create a solution that is better than any of its predecessors.
Cross Cutting Concepts: 7
MS-C1.4:Graphs, charts, and images can be used to identify patterns in data.
MS-C2.3:Phenomena may have more than one cause, and some cause and effect relationships in systems can only be described using probability.
MS-C3.2: The observed function of natural and designed systems may change with scale.
MS-C4.1: Systems may interact with other systems; they may have sub-systems and be a part of larger complex systems.
MS-C5.3:Energy may take different forms (e.g. energy in fields, thermal energy, energy of motion).
MS-C5.4:The transfer of energy can be tracked as energy flows through a designed or natural system.
MS-C7.3:Stability might be disturbed either by sudden events or gradual changes that accumulate over time.
Science and Engineering Practices: 10
MS-P1.4:Ask questions to clarify and/or refine a model, an explanation, or an engineering problem.
MS-P4.1:Construct, analyze, and/or interpret graphical displays of data and/or large data sets to identify linear and nonlinear relationships.
MS-P4.2:Use graphical displays (e.g., maps, charts, graphs, and/or tables) of large data sets to identify temporal and spatial relationships.
MS-P4.5:Apply concepts of statistics and probability (including mean, median, mode, and variability) to analyze and characterize data, using digital tools when feasible.
MS-P4.7:Analyze and interpret data to determine similarities and differences in findings.
MS-P5.4:Apply mathematical concepts and/or processes (e.g., ratio, rate, percent, basic operations, simple algebra) to scientific and engineering questions and problems.
MS-P6.3:Construct a scientific explanation based on valid and reliable evidence obtained from sources (including the students’ own experiments) and the assumption that theories and laws that describe the natural world operate today as they did in the past and will continue to do so in the future.
MS-P6.5:Apply scientific reasoning to show why the data or evidence is adequate for the explanation or conclusion
MS-P6.8:Optimize performance of a design by prioritizing criteria, making tradeoffs, testing, revising, and re- testing.
MS-P8.2:Integrate qualitative and/or quantitative scientific and/or technical information in written text with that contained in media and visual displays to clarify claims and findings.
Performance Expectations: 3
HS-ESS3-1: Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.
HS-ESS3-2: Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.
HS-ETS1-3: Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
Disciplinary Core Ideas: 5
HS-ESS3.A1:Resource availability has guided the development of human society.
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.
HS-ETS1.A2:Humanity faces major global challenges today, such as the need for supplies of clean water and food or for energy sources that minimize pollution, which can be addressed through engineering. These global challenges also may have manifestations in local communities
HS-ETS1.B1:When evaluating solutions, it is important to take into account a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, and to consider social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
Cross Cutting Concepts: 7
HS-C1.3:Patterns of performance of designed systems can be analyzed and interpreted to reengineer and improve the system.
HS-C2.2:Cause and effect relationships can be suggested and predicted for complex natural and human designed systems by examining what is known about smaller scale mechanisms within the system.
HS-C3.4:Using the concept of orders of magnitude allows one to understand how a model at one scale relates to a model at another scale.
HS-C4.2:When investigating or describing a system, the boundaries and initial conditions of the system need to be defined and their inputs and outputs analyzed and described using models.
HS-C5.1:The total amount of energy and matter in closed systems is conserved.
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.
HS-C7.2:Change and rates of change can be quantified and modeled over very short or very long periods of time. Some system changes are irreversible.
Science and Engineering Practices: 7
HS-P1.2:ask questions that arise from examining models or a theory, to clarify and/or seek additional information and relationships.
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-P5.5:Apply ratios, rates, percentages, and unit conversions in the context of complicated measurement problems involving quantities with derived or compound units (such as mg/mL, kg/m3, acre-feet, etc.).
HS-P6.2:Construct and revise an explanation based on valid and reliable evidence obtained from a variety of sources (including students’ own investigations, models, theories, simulations, peer review) and the assumption that theories and laws that describe the natural world operate today as they did in the past and will continue to do so in the future.
HS-P6.3:Apply scientific ideas, principles, and/or evidence to provide an explanation of phenomena and solve design problems, taking into account possible unanticipated effects.
HS-P6.4:Apply scientific reasoning, theory, and/or models to link evidence to the claims to assess the extent to which the reasoning and data support the explanation or conclusion.
HS-P8.2:Compare, integrate and evaluate sources of information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words in order to address a scientific question or solve a problem.