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Classroom and Lab Activities for Teaching about Energy


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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 ...

Visualizing Carbon Pathways part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Carbon
DATA: NASA Satellite Images TOOLS: ImageJ and Image Composite Explorer (ICE) of NASA Earth Observations (NEO). SUMMARY: Build animations of satellite data to illustrate and explore carbon pathways through the Earth system.

An Experiential Pedagogy for Sustainability Ethics: The Externalities Game part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Games:Examples
The Externalities Game is a non-cooperative game that teaches students about the concept of environmental externalities and allows them to directly experience the moral dimensions of collective action problems. It ...

Using Lab Measurements to Determine the Feasibility of a Photovoltaic Panel part of Integrate:Workshops:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
Using Lab Measurements to determine the power output of a solar module and the economic feasibility of photovoltaic panels

Offshore wind or offshore oil? part of Integrate:Workshops:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
An introductory environmental science project tasking students with comparing offshore oil and wind power development.

Action to Enhance Sustainability part of Integrate:Workshops:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
This assignment is a 10-hour, out-of-class project where each student designs and carries out an action plan to enhance sustainability. Students select from a large suite of alternative actions, most of which can be quantified for reductions in CO2 and energy consumption, as well as in dollar savings.

Students' Evaluation of Competing Alternative Energy Options for a Sustainability Assessment part of Integrate:Workshops:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
A group exercise in trying to understand the many attributes that contribute to an overall assessment of sustainability for alternative energy projects.

Habitat for Humanity Build Day part of Integrate:Workshops:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
Teaching sustainability through Habitat for Humanity.

A mock legislative debate to enhance and integrate student understanding of climate change science, policy, economics and ethics part of Integrate:Workshops:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
This activity utilizes publicly available, proposed national legislation to provide a platform for student inquiry into the intersection of climate science, environmental economics and sustainable public policy.

How Much Oil Leaked from Deepwater Horizon? part of Integrate:Workshops:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
Students develop an estimate of the total quantity of petroleum discharged from the Deepwater Horizon from 20 April to 15 July 2010 using only two known facts, the diameter of the riser and the flow rate of the oil/gas mixture emanating from the riser.

Analysis of trends in global oil reserves, production, and consumption part of Integrate:Workshops:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
An exercise to analyze trends in global oil reserves, production, and consumption.

Back of the Envelope Calculations: Renewable Energy part of Integrate:Workshops:Systems, Society, Sustainability and the Geosciences:Activities
This is an example of a back of the envelope calculation of the payback period for a renewable energy installation.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.



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