Hands-on Activity: Solving Energy Problems
Winner - 2009 Premier Curriculum Award for K-12 Engineering
Educational Standards :
Learning Objectives (Return to Contents)
After this activity, students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of the technological method of problem solving, and be able to apply the method to a real-life problem.
Materials List (Return to Contents)
No materials for this activity except the attached Energy Project Worksheet.
Introduction/Motivation (Return to Contents)
The first step in solving a problem is to understand what you want to accomplish. It is critical that you identify what you already know about the problem, as well as what you need to learn.
In this activity we will apply the Technological Method of Problem Solving to get started on the energy project. The energy "problem" discussed thus far includes issues related to a limited supply of fossil fuels, carbon dioxide emissions and other air pollutants. Engineers have been developing solutions to this problem. Some of the solutions help to make devices such as cars use fuel more efficiently. Other solutions focus on identifying new energy resources that we can extract for useful work or power.The development of renewable energy resources should help to make our energy systems more sustainable for the future.
Individuals can also make decisions and choices that help to address our energy challenges. People can choose to use less energy (conservation), buy products that use energy more efficiently (efficiency), or install new energy systems for their homes (new sources). Individuals are solely responsible for decisions related to conservation. Both engineers and consumers are responsible for making and purchasing energy-efficient products or equipment to utilize renewable energy sources (for example, solar panels). In the energy project introduced today, solutions that conserve energy, use energy more efficiently or introduce new energy sources could be appropriate.
Procedure (Return to Contents)
With the students:
Attachments (Return to Contents)
Assessment (Return to Contents)
Collect and review worksheets to evaluate students' understanding of the overall process and the particulars of this specific project.
Other Related Information (Return to Contents)
This activity was originally published by the Clarkson University K-12 Project Based Learning Partnership Program and may be accessed at http://www.clarkson.edu/highschool/k12/project/energysystems.html.
ContributorsSusan Powers, Jan DeWaters, and a number of Clarkson and St. Lawrence students in the K-12 Project Based Learning Partnership Program
Copyright© 2013 by Regents of the University of Colorado; original © 2008 Clarkson University
Supporting Program (Return to Contents)Office of Educational Partnerships, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY
Acknowledgements (Return to Contents)
This activity was developed under National Science Foundation grant nos. DUE 0428127 and DGE 0338216. However, these contents do not necessarily represent the policies of the National Science Foundation, and you should not assume endorsement by the federal government.