Hybrid Vehicles: Are They Worth It?
This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Reviewed Teaching Collection
This activity has received positive reviews in a peer review process involving five review categories. The five categories included in the process are
- Scientific Accuracy
- Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
- Pedagogic Effectiveness
- Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
- Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page
For more information about the peer review process itself, please see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.
This page first made public: Jul 15, 2015
In this project, students use elementary statistics to collect and analyze data related to gasoline costs in the U.S. They then address the open-ended question of whether it is cost-effective to purchase a hybrid vehicle. Finally, students are asked to consider the broader implications of purchasing a hybrid vehicle.
- Ideally, the project encourages students to reflect on fuel consumption, costs, and vehicle emissions.
- Prepares students to build effective coalitions
- Engages students in civil discourse/ communications that lead to more effective decisions
- It advances student literacy around sustainability issues.
- Encourages self-reflection and personal development of their voice for solving societal challenges
- Promote creative visioning around sustainable futures
- This activity emphasizes data analysis, computation, and critical thinking skills.
Context for Use
Description and Teaching Materials
In this project, students use the internet to find the average price of gasoline in each state. They then use Excel (or other data analysis software) and elementary descriptive statistics to analyze the data. Students are then asked to research hybrid vehicles and determine whether purchasing a new hybrid vehicle is more cost effective than purchasing a new vehicle of the same make and model that runs solely on gasoline. In other words, students address the open-ended question of whether the money saved on using less gasoline would compensate over the years for the higher purchase price of the hybrid model. Finally, students are asked to consider the broader question of whether hybrid vehicles are "worth" the extra monetary cost. Students are expected to present their computations and results via a visual display.
Gasoline and Hybrid Vehicle Project (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 14kB Jul13 15)