Energy Systems and Solutions

Energy Systems and Solutions
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The Energy Systems and Solutions unit brings students through the exploration of science and engineering concepts as they relate to energy issues in everyday life. Issues surrounding energy production and energy consumption provide a relevant theme for learning basic science, math and engineering concepts, and also provide a convenient platform for introducing current scientific and technological developments into the curriculum. Energy-related issues touch the lives of every student. This project-based curriculum follows an engineering problem solving approach; students simultaneously learn and use scientific and mathematical content and processes as they solve an energy-related problem that is meaningful to them. By challenging them with a problem to solve, students are engaged in scientific and engineering processes, thereby reinforcing subject matter retention and targeting a wide range of learning styles in the classroom. The unit is organized into three main sections. The first section includes various activities designed to help students understand the problem at hand—namely, the issues surrounding our society's energy situation—so that they can realize the importance of what they are studying and the significance of their proposed solutions. An understanding of the problem forms the basis for the student learning that takes place in the second section, which includes basic energy concepts (forms, states, conversions, efficiency, etc.), content required by state and federal science educational standards. Students learn these concepts by participating engaging activities designed to show the relevance of the science material to the real world as well as to the solution of their assigned problem. Finally, in the last section of the unit, students apply the concepts they learned to complete a culminating project that requires them to consider what actions they can take to reduce our dependence of fossil fuels or otherwise provide a positive solution for our current energy crisis. This engineering curriculum meets Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
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Teaching Duration
2 months
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