Eric Eric Benson, Melissa Highfill, US Department of Energy - Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy - Energy Education and Workforce Development
Activity takes about two to three 50-minute periods. Additional materials necessary.Discuss this Resource»
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4.1 Humans transfer and transform energy.
4.7 Different sources of energy have different benefits and drawbacks.
6.8 Calculating and monitoring energy use.
Excellence in Environmental Education Guidelines
Other materials addressing:
Other materials addressing:
B) Sorting out the consequences of issues.
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Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy |
- Educators are encouraged to use the optional biomass home energy analysis portion of this activity if time allows. It shows how biomass energy sources realistically compare to other energy sources.
About the Science
- The activity includes an optional mathematics extension that links these lab results to the energy bills for the student's own homes.
- This activity was written by a DOE ACTS Fellow with input from NREL scientists and education programs staff.
- Comment from expert scientist: This study is an in depth look at thermochemical conversion processes of biomass into fungible fuels. It is scientifically sound and steps the students through the scientific process (experiment, minimal data collection, discussion, analysis). It does so in a fun and inviting way. There is a great 'teachers resource' section at the end that provides links and further information to be used by the teacher in providing context for the resource.
About the Pedagogy
- An excellent inquiry lab introducing the topic of biomass energy. It could be analytically complex for the grade-level suggested depending on the prior lab experience of students.
- The written materials for this activity (e.g., lab procedure, background material, student Biomass Gasification worksheet and optional Biomass Home Energy Analysis worksheet)are all excellent.
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