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Classroom and Lab Activities for Teaching about Energy

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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.

Choosing Between Home Appliances: Benefits to the Planet and Your Wallet part of SISL:2012 Sustainability in Math Workshop:Activities
Students research various options for new appliances and make purchasing decisions based not merely on purchase price, but also on energy efficiency, which has implications for the planet AND for longer-term personal finances. Students calculate the "payback period" for the more energy efficient appliance and calculate long-term savings.

Energy Cost of Engine Idling part of SISL:2012 Sustainability in Math Workshop:Activities
This is an open-ended but elementary modeling exercise about idling energy behaviors and impacts.

Should I Unplug? part of SISL:2012 Sustainability in Math Workshop:Activities
Short Description goes here: Short DescriptionThis section should be a distillation of the summary above. This description will be displayed in search returns. The optimal length for this description is on the order of 1-2 sentences. Short Description goes here:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Economics of installing Solar PV panels: is it worth it to the individual? part of SISL:2012 Sustainability in Math Workshop:Activities
We show that it is economical for an individual to install solar photovoltaic panels in Denver, Colorado; and this is a sustainable strategy for society at large.

Learning Sustainability with Sim City part of SISL:Activities
Sim City is a computer game that has the player design a city. They become the mayor. While designing the city from ground, they can choose sustainaiblity energy options such as wind farms, geothermal, and solar. The game includes greening options and pollution factors. Teachers in a variety of disciplines can utilize this to bring their core course concepts to life.

One day it is too hot and other days it is too cold. Do we need to replace the HVAC system? part of SISL:2012 Sustainability in Math Workshop:Activities
This project will allow students to create a mathematical model to help in making decision about replacing HVAC units on a large scale.

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.

Energy Policy part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Public Policy:Activities
Students research and make recommendations regarding the petroleum energy policy of the U.S. with respect to other countries.

Hybrid Vehicles: Are They Worth It? part of SISL:2012 Sustainability in Math Workshop:Activities
In this project, students analyze the costs of gasoline nationwide. They also investigate the cost-effectiveness of purchasing a new hybrid vehicle as opposed to purchasing a new vehicle that runs solely on gasoline.

Ideas for Teaching About Energy part of Cutting Edge:Energy
These ideas were generated at the Teaching Energy Workshop held in May 2009 at the University of Wyoming. The ideas below were inspired by the presentations, activities and interactions at the workshop; they are ...

You Greedy Energy User part of MnSTEP Teaching Activity Collection:MnSTEP Activity Mini-collection

Alternative Energy Debate part of MnSTEP Teaching Activity Collection:MnSTEP Activity Mini-collection
This activity is a debate on alternative energy sources.

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