Academic standards correlations on Teachers' Domain use the Achievement Standards Network (ASN) database of state and national standards, provided to NSDL projects courtesy of JES & Co.
We assign reference terms to each statement within a standards document and to each media resource, and correlations are based upon matches of these terms for a given grade band. If a particular standards document of interest to you is not displayed yet, it most likely has not yet been processed by ASN or by Teachers' Domain. We will be adding social studies and arts correlations over the coming year, and also will be increasing the specificity of alignment.
Energy is a concept at the center of every scientific discipline. For example, in life science, students learn that all organisms need energy to carry out their life functions. In physical science, students learn about the conversion of potential to kinetic energy when an object is set in motion, and the transfer of energy that occurs when that object collides with another. In earth and space science, they study the role of energy in the creation and fate of the universe. It is important for students to see that energy -- the ability to do work or cause change -- means the same thing no matter what the context.
In this lesson plan, students examine the role of energy in our daily lives -- that is, how we produce the energy that we use to power our cities, our homes, and our schools, and at what cost. Students study several forms of energy production. They discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each energy resource, in particular, the controversy surrounding the use of nuclear energy. In the end, students gain insight into the difficult choices that must be made in order to meet the energy demands of a modern society.
Note - This lesson can also be used in conjunction with the App Exception: phy03.sci.engin.systems.lp_renew lesson plan. See Part II of this lesson.
1. Show the Snapshot of US Energy Use video and lead a discussion on how our society is dependent on energy. Ask:
2. Show the Energy Sources video and discuss the following:
3. Divide the class into groups of two or three. Distribute a copy of the Carbon Cycle Diagram to each group. Have them discuss as a group what type of energy production is shown in this image and what effects it is having on the rest of the system. Ask them to hypothesize why these natural resources are called fossil fuels. Then lead a class discussion on where fossil fuels come from (decomposed organic matter) and how the burning of fossil fuels releases carbon back into the atmosphere.
4. Have students read the Global Warming: Beyond Fossil Fuels document. Ask them to identify the advantages and disadvantages of using fossil fuels as an energy resource. Are they a renewable or nonrenewable resource? Why? If nonrenewable, over what time scale?
5. Show the Hoover Dam and Hydroelectric Power video. Have students discuss the advantages and disadvantages of hydroelectric power. Ask:
If time allows, you can strengthen students' background knowledge of renewable energy sources and how to design storage systems by doing the App Exception: phy03.sci.engin.systems.lp_renew lesson.
6. Have students watch the Nuclear Reaction: Fission video. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of nuclear power.
7. Have students read the Nuclear Reaction: Searching for Safety and Nuclear Reaction: Interview with Mayor Steve Reed documents. Discuss the different points of view surrounding the use of nuclear power. Ask:
8. Have students work in teams to create an energy plan for their community or the country. Have students assume roles such as safety engineer, resource locator, financial officer, and scientist to work together and try to reach consensus on a plan. They can use the Internet and other resources to research and identify alternative types of energy production such as wind turbines, tidal power, and geothermal energy, as well as those discussed in this lesson plan. The point of this activity is not only for students to learn about energy resources, but to understand how difficult are the decisions that must be made in order to provide energy for the country. Conclude the activity with a discussion on what each individual can do to conserve energy and thereby limit the economic and environmental costs associated with energy production.
Have students discuss the following: