Physical Science

Energy resources

This article from the New Scientist begins "As energy demand grows, even alternative energy sources such as wind, solar and nuclear fusion could begin to affect the climate" Whatever you use energy for, it almost all ends up as waste heat. Very nice piece http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21328491.700-power-paradox-clean-might-not-be-green-forever.html?full=true

Pamela Auburn
Pamela Auburn
68505 Activity Points

Pamela: Thanks for that interesting article. It might be useful at the beginning of a unit about energy resources. Of course it would have to be shorted and provided as a way to engage students when learning about renewable energy sources. Adah

Adah Stock
Adah Stock
101490 Activity Points

This is a good read. After reading this article, it seems to me that solar is the way to go. Mark Jacobson of Stanford University in California stated in the article that "Solar panels will basically take 20 per cent of sunlight and convert it to electricity," says Jacobson. "That cools down your house."

I live in Hawaii and the cost of electricity is outrageous. Some of the locals here have converted their homes in to solar paneled homes to defray the high cost. I don't blame them. I am committed to building a home or buying a home that only uses solar power. Besides we are blessed with sunny weather all year round which is all the more reason to utilize the sun's energy. This way we could possibly combat "Global Warming."

It was interesting to find out that even using alternative energy sources could still have a negative impact on the world through extra heat. Through the Energy SciPack I've been re-acquainted with the idea that many of the energy types we learned about turn into thermal energy. Whatever the solution is to improve our energy dilemma and stop global warming, we need to find it and soon.

Thank you for sharing!

Jacqueline Nuha-Tabernero
Jacqueline Nuha
2270 Activity Points

This is great! Thank you!

Shannon Hudson
Shannon Hudson
2405 Activity Points

Thank you for sharing! This article, would work well for a warm up activity while teaching a unit on electricity or different types of energy sources. This article could be a gateway for discussion and creative of ideas, while opening the unit. This article will defiantly be one I will keep on fill.

Sonja Caldwell
Sonja Caldwell
740 Activity Points

Hi Jacqueline, I also live in Hawaii and when I introduced energy I showed some mini clips of the different using solar power vs electricity. Some great field trips is going the Kahuku wind farm that is located above the hills of Kahuku, Hawaii. It has a power generating capacity of 30 megawatts, enough to supply power to 7,700 homes. It began operation in early 2011. Kahuku Wind Farm is made up of 12 state of the art wind turbines. Also, the City’s HPOWER Garbage-to-Energy Plant is capable of providing 46 megawatts of electricity to the Hawaiian Electric grid. For other teachers they don't live in hawaii they can google these companies and have students do research projects on different types renewable energy in the United States. Thanks, Helen

Helen Hicks
Helen Hicks
2635 Activity Points

Hi Helen, I wanted to take my students there, but our grade level decided not to this year. I think it would have been a great experience for the 5th graders to see that Hawaii has an actual wind turbine farm. It would have solidified the concept of sustainability with my 21st Century Enrichment students. We built mock wind turbines using plastic pipes and various materials. The students did meter readings as their panels spun. We discussed the importance of renewable energy like wind. Thank you for providing the information. Do you know if there is an admission fee for any of these places? I’m glad to know that Hawaii is moving towards being more independent.

Jacqueline Nuha-Tabernero
Jacqueline Nuha
2270 Activity Points

I teach physical science in Hawaii, and here's the unit we use to teach about different ways that electricity COULD be generated (and although Solar is a viable alternative, it does have it's drawbacks - like the fact that it doesn't work at night and there aren't any batteries efficient enough to store any excess generated during the day to use at night). I've attached the lesson plans (with links to resources that I use to teach them) here that I had to formally write up for another purpose a while ago. It includes having students look at where electricity in Hawaii is generated, then has students evaluating and researching methods for alternatives to burning oil to generate electricity. It also incorporates looking into current energy policies and proposed energy policies and asks students to take an active political role by drafting (I give them bonus points if they actually prove that they submitted it) testimony on current legislation (which takes a little effort on the teacher's part to "translate" legal language for kids to understand, especially 9th graders).

Mary Miura-Aguinaldo
Mary Miura-Aguinaldo
240 Activity Points

Wow, Mary! What a great lesson. So, so relevant for our students here in Hawaii, as hopefully they will one day participate in making important decisions about energy. I also really like that the lesson has strong writing component. I just had to do a training on the Common Core Literacy Standards for Science, and while it is not listed as Common Core standard for science, my school has decided to focus some our attention on argumentative writing (as apparently that will be a large part of the Common Core standardized assessments). I was a little stressed as I was having a hard time figuring out how to implement that one, but your lesson gives me some very good ideas. Mahalo!

Sarah Henley
Sarah Henley
905 Activity Points

Here is an article covering online resources for teaching about alternative energy I am especially excited about the NSF Wiki ChemPrime http://wiki.chemprime.chemeddl.org/index.php/Main_Page where one can find resources by topic.

Pamela Auburn
Pamela Auburn
68505 Activity Points

One of the biggest problems I see with changes in alternative energy or efficiency are the attitudes of a number of vocal people. People expect that any new technology has to be perfect or they will continually spew negative comments about it. One example are the CFL light bulbs, yes there is a small amount of mercury in the bulbs but handle them with care and take in for recycling. LED is a better technology but the price is high yet but then you do not have to replace for a very long time. Recently I purchased a hybrid car and I can't believe how people say such negative things about that technology. Many people seem proud to waste gas and create more pollution with their 4x4 trucks. They need the 4-wheel drive because they have a steep driveway and they can't be bothered to shovel it first in the winter before driving on it. So they would rather use three times as much gas all year long. Sorry to be so negative, I do not think most people think this way but the people that do try to influence more rational people.

Bill Kuhl
Bill Kuhl
2190 Activity Points

Wow, good stuff here. Here is a lecture that I just recently attended. It is something you might want to look at. It is one of the best "whole picture" of what energy in the future might be like I've come across. The lecture that I attended was Volume 77-Feb. 24, 2012, "From Fracking to the 40 acres: Energy Challenges for UT, Texas, and the World" by Dr. Michael Webber http://www.esi.utexas.edu/hot-science-cool-talks/lecture-archives

Sue Garcia
Sue Garcia
42665 Activity Points

This from the New York Time on the impact of the rising use of air conditioning world wide http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/21/world/asia/global-demand-for-air-conditioning-forces-tough-environmental-choices.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all "if all the equipment entering the world market uses the newest gases currently employed in air-conditioners, up to 27 percent of all global warming will be attributable to those gases by 2050" The rising use of air conditioning is primarily due to the rising middle class in China and India. There might be an opportunity here to overlay social justice issues into a discussion of energy use.

Pamela Auburn
Pamela Auburn
68505 Activity Points

British scientists have connected energy usage to increasing human biomass. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-18462985 The US accounts for 6% of the world's population and 33% of the human biomass. In contrast Asia accounts for 61%m of the world's population but only 13% of the human biomass. The implications for energy use and food security are profound.

Pamela Auburn
Pamela Auburn
68505 Activity Points

This is some rather depressing reading. To me it points to just how badly better science is needed or should I say better solutions with fewer or lesser unintended consequences.

Bill Kuhl
Bill Kuhl
2190 Activity Points

I have been researching claims that propane and gas are clean and green. I know that the 'burn cleaner' than coal and gasoline with much less particulates. Does anyone have reliable sources of information about their CO2 levels during combustion in various uses? Also, looking at how they are produced and if in a systemic way they can be considered 'green and clean'

Arlene Jurewicz-Leighton
Arlene Jurewicz Leighton
42060 Activity Points

Arlene> I believe you can find the answer to your question here
http://www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/index.html

I found this video a couple years ago and I was trying to figure out a way to do something similar in my middle school science classes, but I just don't have the technology background to put it together - or maybe my imagination is just burned out!

http://www.ted.com/talks/william_kamkwamba_on_building_a_windmill.html

What do you think, would this make a good project for students - putting together their own windmill to study electricity generation? I know there are kits to do it, but maybe doing it totally themselves would make a bigger impact? I would love to hear other people's thoughts on how you might use this with your classes!

Tina Harris
Tina Harris
65560 Activity Points

Tiny, I think I posted this before but here is the link to my design for model wind turbines. I use pretty inexpenive wood and create the hub from wood by using a hole saw and a drill press. Next week starts College for Kids and this will be one of the projects. I made up 2 dozen kits, the little DC motor is the most expensive part which cost a dollar. It will be interesting to see how the kids enjoy this project and what gives them the most trouble.

Wind Turbine Construction

Bill Kuhl
Bill Kuhl
2190 Activity Points

Tiny, I think I posted this before but here is the link to my design for model wind turbines. I use pretty inexpenive wood and create the hub from wood by using a hole saw and a drill press. Next week starts College for Kids and this will be one of the projects. I made up 2 dozen kits, the little DC motor is the most expensive part which cost a dollar. It will be interesting to see how the kids enjoy this project and what gives them the most trouble.

Wind Turbine Construction

Bill Kuhl
Bill Kuhl
2190 Activity Points

Tina, I think I posted this before but here is the link to my design for model wind turbines. I use pretty inexpenive wood and create the hub from wood by using a hole saw and a drill press. Next week starts College for Kids and this will be one of the projects. I made up 2 dozen kits, the little DC motor is the most expensive part which cost a dollar. It will be interesting to see how the kids enjoy this project and what gives them the most trouble.

Wind Turbine Construction

Bill Kuhl
Bill Kuhl
2190 Activity Points

Tried to type Tina, not Tiny.

Bill Kuhl
Bill Kuhl
2190 Activity Points

There is a web seminar that might be great on the topic of energy, at one of the most fundamental levels describing the difference between temperature and heat. Changing State: Evaporation, Condensation, Freezing, and Melting - Introducing a Free Online Resource for Middle School Chemistry, July 26, 2012

Patricia Rourke
Patricia Rourke
45895 Activity Points

An Energy Unit is being implemented this year for our 8th grade. Thank you for the additional resources to help!

Kristin Mancusi-Johnson
Kristin Mancusi-Johnson
2710 Activity Points

Bill, the "Wind Turbine Construction" link is awesome ...a great resource. I have put together some of this contraptions (of my own designs) and I have taken video footage illustrating the students working on a variety of small projects. Every year I use the previous year’s videos to introduce transformation of energy as well as to motivate my new students to create their own... yanni

Yanni Korakianitis
Yanni Korakianitis
2745 Activity Points

Thank you for your comments Yanni. Today I am having the students building this wind turbine design in a College for Kids class. I did much of the work because there are not tools available for them. All they will need is a ruler, scissors, and hot glue gun.

I created a video about wind power several years ago that can be seen on YouTube:

Power of the Wind

Bill Kuhl

Bill Kuhl
Bill Kuhl
2190 Activity Points

Hi Bill, I have checked your video “Power of the Wind” on youtube... Excellent work; I have book-marked it for future utilization... yanni

Yanni Korakianitis
Yanni Korakianitis
2745 Activity Points

That was one of the first videos I created and the narration wasn't the best. I have improved slightly since then, I hope to find time to create more videos. The information I think was pretty good.

Bill Kuhl
Bill Kuhl
2190 Activity Points

That was one of the first videos I created and the narration wasn't the best. I have improved slightly since then, I hope to find time to create more videos. The information I think was pretty good.

Bill Kuhl
Bill Kuhl
2190 Activity Points

These all looked like interesting reference sites. http://www.windpoweringamerica.gov/wind_maps_none.asp http://geometrx.com/2012/03/u-s-solar-energy-potential/ http://smu.edu/newsinfo/releases/07240.asp (geothermal) Unfortunately, most of these do not include Hawaii :(

Tina Harris
Tina Harris
65560 Activity Points

I love using Wind Power in my middle school class room. I have started a collection of resources and put it into "User Created Collections" in the advanced search option on the Home Page of this Learning Center. When using the "Advanced Search" option, when the filtering page appears; type in "Wind Turbines" in the Keyword slot, scroll down to "Type of Learning Resource", click and select "User Created Collection"...hit the search. What you end up with, is a site that is displaying all collections that NSTA users have put together. What a deal; LOTS of already "found" articles, websites, web seminars, and trade books already collected in one spot for educators to look at and decide if they are pertinent to their needs. These collections also provide the links to what you may want to use. The collection that I have put together is called "Wind Related Resource Collection", but there are several other collections listed. Check out the collection....and try the advanced search option, using "User Created Collections" for other projects you may have in mind. Here is a short cut for just my collection. Try the search option for additional resources. http://learningcenter.nsta.org/my_learning_center/my_library.aspx?cid=qRwY!plus!VUKwFA_E Quick review for using the "Advanced Search" option.... 1) Start on the Home Page (blue tab on top) 2) Scroll down to "Explore Learning Opportunities" (tan-colored band)... click on "Advanced Search" in black lettering. 3) When advanced search screen appears-on the right-type into Keyword: Wind Turbines and scroll down to "Type of Learning Resource" ...click on "User Created Collections", hit search. 4) You now have several collections listed that were created by users like yourself and shared on-line in this Learning Center. Pretty powerful stuff here! Educators helping educators, gotta love it! Another site that I use is the National Energy Education Development (NEED) which has more information than you could possibly be able to use. It has updated resources divided into grade levels, energy resource types, content or activity, or ....there is so much here I can not begin to list it. Here is a quick link to get an idea of some of the things that it offers. http://cms.need.org/node/30 And don't for get the KidWind site. They even offer competitions for student built wind turbines. learn.kidwind.org/

Sue Garcia
Sue Garcia
42665 Activity Points

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