Energy and the Poor - Black Carbon in Developing Nations
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
How the activity is situated in the course
Content/concepts goals for this activity
- Students will investigate topics related to household energy use in developed and developing countries.
- Students will be able to explain the term black carbon and how it is generated.
- Students will understand the social, health and environmental impacts of the use of wood, dung, and charcoal as household fuels.
- Students will propose solutions for household energy use in developing nations as well as understand their own role in producing black carbon and greenhouse gases.
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
Other skills goals for this activity
Description of the activity/assignment
In class, students will generate a list of broad topics that the article has touched on, adding new topics that may come up during the discussion (for example, health effects, climate change, use of solar technology and improving stove efficiency, land use, black carbon legislation). The jigsaw method is used to form two sets of working groups. Within the first small group, each student will become knowledgeable on one topic related to the impacts of black carbon. Students in the second, multi-topic group will work together to create a concept map and short collaborative paper.
This activity connects household energy use to a wide variety of related topics, from social implications of time spent wood-gathering to air pollution and respiratory problems in the poor, to low-cost solar technology and climate change.
Determining whether students have met the goals
Teaching materials and tips
- Activity Description/Assignment: Black Carbon Assignment (Microsoft Word 28kB May8 09)
- Instructors Notes: Instructor's Notes for Black Carbon Assignment (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 185kB Jul22 11)
How Does Black Carbon Change the Carbon Debate? (Acrobat (PDF) 1.9MB Jul13 11) a publication by the Climate Institute.