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Classroom and Lab Activities for Teaching about Energy

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Analyzing Hurricanes part of Cutting Edge:Hurricanes-Climate Change Connection:Activities
The exercise uses GIS to explore historical data on hurricanes (path, strength, name). Students identify trends in hurricane records, the impact of hurricanes on major U.S. cities, and how hurricanes change through ...

Tropical Cyclones and Global Change part of Cutting Edge:Hurricanes-Climate Change Connection:Activities
This is a full semester project focusing on tropical cyclones and climate change for my undergraduate tropical meteorology class. It consists of five parts, outlined below.

Resource Usage Project and Journal part of Energy Activities
Students keep track of one resource (water, electricity, gas, etc.) they use for a 7-day period. They summarize their usage patterns, give opinions, and get some self-realization about their habits.

Where does your energy come from? Analyzing your energy bill part of ACM Pedagogic Resources:ACM/FaCE:Projects:Integrating Sustainability into the Undergraduate Curriculum:Activities
Students use utility bills to determine the cost and sources of energy in their households.

Investigating Renewable Energy Data from Photovoltaic (PV) Solar Panels part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Project REDI
DATA: Soltrex Online Data. TOOL: Microsoft Excel. SUMMARY: Examine solar energy generation; explore websites that monitor and report solar energy production from panels at many different locations; and consider how much of a school's or home's energy needs could be supplied by solar power.

How Much Energy is on my Plate? part of CLEAN:Community:Teaching Materials
This activity is part of the community collection of teaching materials on climate and energy topics. This activity was submitted by faculty as part of the CLEAN Energy Workshop, held in April, 2011. This activity ...

Petroleum Use Jigsaw Activity/Homework part of Energy Activities
Students get one of 3 homework assignments. They then gather in groups, one that has completed each homework to answer questions as a group. The exercises estimate current oil usage, reserves, and amounts available ...

The Energy Conundrum part of Energy Activities
This is a lecture aimed at preparing students for making the leap from what is to what ought to be. In it, I present the main sociological theories about poverty and examine several places I've lived—New ...

Urban Environmental Excursions: Field trips to connect urban geology students with the world around them part of Cutting Edge:Urban Geology:Activities
Environmentally-themed field trips in urban areas can stimulate student interest in geology and environmental science while providing curricular links to topics such as global warming, energy resources, water ...

Integrating Sustainability Concepts into First Quarter General Chemistry part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
The goal of this project is to insert sustainability concepts and issues into the general chemistry curriculum. Specifically, I focus on carbon as the example to be considered throughout the quarter.

Building Sustainable Communities, But What Kind? part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
This assignment, depending on the level and depth of implementation, seeks to challenge students by asking them to look beyond "greenwashed" advertisements and buzzwords to grapple with what sustainability means, whether it can be achieved, and what kinds of questions communities must confront in a search for sustainability.

Your Environmental Impact part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
The following homework assignments are designed to build understanding of personal water use, sewage, waste generation and disposal, pollution sources and impacts, and energy use and costs.

Swimming Upstream: Relating Trapped Energy in Organic Hydrogenations to Use of Reduced Hydrocarbons as Energy Sources part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
An activity designed to inform the student of the potential and pitfalls of storing energy by the generation of reduced organic molecules, particularly as pertains to the generation of ethanol from molecules of a greater oxidation state and the ultimate fate of oxidized carbon when the energy potential is realized. As a part of a discussion of sustainability issues, the activity will be part of a discussion of global energy generation and use and couched in a form similar to the US energy flow trends.

What is the True Cost of Burning Coal? part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
This activity is a framework for general chemistry students to explore the costs, ethics and alternatives to coal-fired electricity.

Renewable - But Is It Sustainable? part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
Production of biofuels as an alternative energy source is not as simple as the media portray. This exercise enables students to practice critical thinking skills in evaluating the "value" of biofuels - a somewhat ambiguous concept.

Energy Resources: Considering the Sustainability of Past, Present, and Future Resource Consumption part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
Students consider the vast amount of past and present energy resources in the world, their distribution, as well as the sustainability of their use. It introduces the idea of resource consumption and distribution to high school students.

Sustainability, Nuclear Waste, and the Hanford Site part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
An introduction to the Hanford Site in Washington, including its history, geology, and hydrology, and examines the sustainability issues associated with it.

Sustainability and Changing Rates of Change part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
To understand sustainability, students must understand rates of change. This activity includes a primer on basic rates concepts and an exercise that motivates critical thinking about rates of change and sustainability with an analysis of historical petroleum production rates data from the United States and the world.

How Clean is Nuclear Energy? An Evaluation of the Environmental Impacts of Nuclear Power as an Alternative Energy Source part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
This writing assignment is in lieu of a laboratory activity during the discussion of nuclear chemistry within the general chemistry curriculum.

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