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Evaluating the Effects of Local Energy Resource Development
http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/energy/activities/32368.html

Devin Castendyk, SERC - On the Cutting Edge Collection

This is a semester-long jigsaw project in which students work in teams to explore the effects of energy resource development on local water resources, economics, and society. Students are presented with a contemporary energy resource development issue being debated in their community. They research the water, geological, economic, and social impact of the project, and then either defend or support the development proposal.

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Topics

Fossil Fuels
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Grade Level

High School (9-12)
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College Lower (13-14)
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College Upper (15-16)
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Activity can be adjusted for older high school and introductory college students but is ideal for higher college level.

Energy Literacy

Energy decisions are influenced by economic factors.
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5.4 Economic factors.
Energy decisions are influenced by environmental factors.
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5.6 Environmental factors.
Energy decisions are influenced by social factors.
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5.7 Social Factors.
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Energy decisions are influenced by several factors.

Excellence in Environmental Education Guidelines

1. Questioning, Analysis and Interpretation Skills:G) Drawing conclusions and developing explanations
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G) Drawing conclusions and developing explanations.
1. Questioning, Analysis and Interpretation Skills:B) Designing investigations
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B) Designing investigations.
1. Questioning, Analysis and Interpretation Skills:C) Collecting information
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C) Collecting information.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.1 The Earth as a Physical System:C) Energy
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C) Energy.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.4 Environment and Society:A) Human/environment interactions
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A) Human/environment interactions.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.4 Environment and Society:D) Technology
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D) Technology.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.4 Environment and Society:E) Environmental Issues
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E) Environmental Issues.
3. Skills for Understanding and Addressing Environmental Issues:3.1 Skills for Analyzing and Investigating Environmental Issues:A) Identifying and investigating issues
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A) Identifying and investigating issues.
3. Skills for Understanding and Addressing Environmental Issues:3.1 Skills for Analyzing and Investigating Environmental Issues:B) Sorting out the consequences of issues
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B) Sorting out the consequences of issues.
3. Skills for Understanding and Addressing Environmental Issues:3.1 Skills for Analyzing and Investigating Environmental Issues:C) Identifying and evaluation alternative solutions and courses of action
Other materials addressing:
C) Identifying and evaluation alternative solutions and courses of action.

Benchmarks for Science Literacy
Learn more about the Benchmarks

Different ways of obtaining, transforming, and distributing energy have different environmental consequences.
Explore the map of concepts related to this benchmark
When selecting fuels, it is important to consider the relative advantages and disadvantages of each fuel.
Explore the map of concepts related to this benchmark

Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • Educator will need to provide handouts, as well as a resource list for students, and look up more background reading.
  • Educator would need to provide information about an issue relevant to the region.
  • The educator will need to become familiar with a local issue in order to effectively facilitate this activity; the topic is most relevant when it is local.

About the Science

  • Allows for an in-depth exploration of a complex scientific and economic topic - energy development is a multifaceted topic and students will explore many sides of the issue.
  • Comment from expert scientist: It would be useful to add information on future projections of the changing nature of water availability, a larger suite of environmental impacts and the different ways in which an assessment would be framed in different parts of the country.

About the Pedagogy

  • An excellent "classroom-to-career" project.
  • Clear, step-by-step instructions are provided as well as a grading rubric.
  • Appropriate for project-based learning classes.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Well-designed project activity and is ready to use.

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