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Classroom and Lab Activities for Teaching about Energy

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Energy Hog Advertising Campaign part of Energy Activities
Students are asked to design an alternative to the Energy Hog Ads developed by the Depatment of Energy. This advertising campaign was launched in 2004 to encourage children and their parents to engage in energy ...

Electrical Analysis of Wind Power part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Data:Examples
For this experiment, students use a DC motor as a generator and various shaped turbine designs to test which design produces the most electrical power. Using a fan to generate the "wind", students attach ...

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 ...

Communications Booster: The Great "LOCAL AND RENEWABLE" Energy Debate: Adapting Lessons for Place-based Politics and Student-centered Learning part of CLEAN:Community:Teaching Materials
Dan Steinberg, Princeton UniversitySerena Poli, Eastern Michigan UniversityNicole Colston, Oklahoma State University This page builds on the CLEAN reviewed activities Evaluating the Effects of Local Energy ...

Communications Booster: Curbing Emissions part of CLEAN:Community:Teaching Materials
Nicole Colston, Oklahoma State UniversityCharlie Cottingham, Frederick Community College (MD)Susan Spierre, Arizona State UniversityPaul Ruscher, Florida State University This page builds on the CLEAN reviewed ...

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.

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.

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.

Replacing Household Appliances: Refrigerator part of SISL:2012 Sustainability in Math Workshop:Activities
In this problem, students compare the energy use of their existing refrigerator with a new refrigerator.

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.

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