Secretary of Energy
University of Alabama
Used this activity? Share your experiences and modifications
This activity was used in my GEO 101: The Dynamic Earth course to engage the students and get them thinking about different energy resources. It asks them to consider our country's energy needs in the future and how these needs will be met.
This activity was used in an introductory geology course for undergraduate non-majors. The class is a large-lecture format (100+ students).
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
Students must be familiar with the different energy resources available (such as fossil fuels, solar, nuclear, wind, and hydrothermal) and must be familiar with the pros and cons of each option.
How the activity is situated in the course
This is intended as a stand-alone exercise to encourage student interaction and assessment of course concepts.
Content/concepts goals for this activity
The activity is focused on energy resources.
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
The students must critically evaluate the different energy resource options and formulate which would be the best for our country's future use.
Other skills goals for this activity
The students must work in groups to complete this activity.
Description of the activity/assignment
To prepare for this activity, the students must be familiar with different energy resources. This material is learned both by attending the course lectures and reading the associated textbook. Then, working in groups, the students will develop their plan to direct the future energy use and development in our country. Their task is to write a summary plan of which energy resource options would be best to invest in and why.
Determining whether students have met the goals
The activity will be evaluated to see if the students not only made suggestions about which energy resources they think are our country's best options but also to support their ideas with facts about the resources they endorse.
More information about assessment tools and techniques.
Download teaching materials and tips
Marshak, S. Essentials of Geology, 2nd edition, W.W. Norton & Company, New York, 2007. Chapter 12.