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Fun with Renewable Energy

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Fun with Renewable Energy Subject: Science Grade Level: Middle school (6-8) Rational or Purpose: Students will expand their knowledge of renewable energy by exploring a particular technology in detail.
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Fun with Renewable Energy Subject: Science Grade Level: Middle school (6-8) Rational or Purpose: Students will expand their knowledge of renewable energy by exploring a particular technology in detail. Materials: Copies of Renewable Energy Sources from Texas reading passage Copies of the student data sheet Copies of the assessment questions Access to the internet Computers with PowerPoint capability Lesson Duration: Four 40-minute periods TEKS Objectives: Science, Grade 6 (9) (A-C) Science, Grade 7 (14) (C) Background Information: Renewable energy provides a means to supply energy by utilizing natural resources that are abundant on Earth. Some examples of renewable energy include solar energy, geothermal energy and wind energy. These energy resources provide enormous advantages in that they cause less pollution into the atmosphere, can be found anywhere, and cannot be used up; they provide more than enough energy to meet our needs unlike fossil fuels. Activity: This lesson will allow students to explore different forms of renewable energy through the use of an internet research activity. Students will be assigned a renewable energy technology and responsible for researching their topic in order to give a presentation to the class. Teaching Module developed by Faezana Ali Environmental Science Institute (http://www.esi.utexas.edu) Procedure: Day one: 1. To grab your students attention, display several solar-powered devices in the classroom. Talk about each item. 2. Introduce the lesson by informing students that they will be learning about renewable energy and the resources available in Texas. Initiate a classroom discussion about what the already know about renewable energy. Create a K-W- L chart on the board to organize this information visually. 3. After this discussion, pass out the reading passage handouts. This will help students to familiarize themselves with renewable energy and aid them in understanding the vocabulary used in the lab activity instructions. 4. Collect and grade students work. Return next class period. 5. Handout the lab activity handouts and ask the students to read it over for the next class period. Day Two/Three: 6. Ask students to summarize what they will be doing in their internet research activity based on the lab activity handout and ask questions about the research guidelines to make sure students read the instructions. 7. Go over rules for using the internet and discuss some good search engines to use. (Students should not be accessing sites irrelevant to the research activity.) 8. Divide students into groups of 2-4 and assign each group one of the following types of renewable energy: a. Solar electricity (photovoltaics) b. Solar thermal (i.e. water/space heating, solar cooking) c. Passive solar energy d. Wind energy e. Biomass energy f. Geothermal energy (i.e. heat pumps) g. Hydroelectric energy h. Tidal/wave energy 9. Instruct all groups to research their assigned topic. Be sure to provide methods for saving information. Teaching Module developed by Faezana Ali Environmental Science Institute (http://www.esi.utexas.edu) 10. Remind all groups that they will compile their information and organize it into a 10 to 15 minute presentation based on the guidelines given to them. Inform all groups each student will be responsible for the presentation and therefore each group member will present a part of their topic. In addition, groups must create a 5 question quiz for the class in order to hold the class responsible for all the renewable energy resources that were researched in this lesson. Groups will decide how this quiz should be administered. Day Four: 11. Each group will now present their topic. 12. After all groups have presented, summarize the findings and complete the L part of the K-W-L chart on the board. Resources: The Infinite Power of Texas. Renewable Energy: The Infinite Power of Texas. Texas State Conservation Office. http://www.infinitepower.org/index.htm . Teaching Module developed by Faezana Ali Environmental Science Institute (http://www.esi.utexas.edu)
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