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Introduction to Energy & Sustainability

Time:  5-day unit

Grade Level:  11th or 12th

Lesson description: This 5-day lesson plan will give students an understanding of energy and a basis for making informed future decisions on energy consumption. The lesson plan will also give the students a better understanding of energy basics, energy sources (both renewable and non-renewable), and energy portfolios. The focus is on energy used for heat, electricity, and fuel for cars. This lesson plan is split into five mini lessons (50-minutes each) with the end goal of student giving presentations on an energy portfolio they have created.

Suggested subject areas:All sciences, economics, engineering, business, social studies, government, and math

Lesson components and descriptions:

Introduction to Energy & Sustainability Lesson Plan Gives an overview of all lesson materials and a step-by-step guide for each lesson ()

Introduction to Energy & Sustainability Handouts Includes handouts, worksheets, and answer keys for all days.  Individual pages may be printed separately and teacher keys are included after each worksheet. ()

Introduction to Energy & Sustainability Presentation This presentation includes supplemental material for each day of the unit. Here, students will learn about the basics of energy, become introduced to Camp Colley, and discover the renewable energy potential in the United States. ()

Sustainable Transportation

Time:  1-day lesson, with standalone 10-minute activity

Lesson description: This lesson includes a 10-minute activity that asks students living near Phoenix, Arizona to critically examine their relationship to and opinions of the transportation systems employed by their city while using probing prompts based on a sustainable transportation framework. The lesson also includes an optional 50-minute presentation that offers a sustainable transportation case study comparing Phoenix with cities in France, and an additional assessment activity that asks students to design their own sustainable transportation system.

Suggested subject areas:All sciences, economics, engineering, and language/cultural studies

Lesson components and descriptions:

Sustainable Transport Lesson Plan Gives an overview of all lesson materials and a step-by-step guide for the 10-minute activity, which can stand alone. ()

Sustainable Transport Handouts Includes the transportation mode posters that accompany the 10-minute activity. These are to be printed out and adhered to classroom walls in order to accomplish the activity. ()

Sustainable Transport Presentation Presentation PowerPoint is an optional component of the lesson.  The slides may be used to present a short introduction to sustainability (the three pillars) and sustainable transportation, a case study comparing transportation practices in Phoenix to various French cities, and a final assessment activity that asks students to plan for sustainable transportation in their city. ()

Oil Spill Solutions

Time:  50-minute lesson

Lesson description: This lesson focuses on oil extraction and references a real-word environmental disaster: the 2010 BP oil spill. Students will learn about social and ecological costs of oil spills by examining a case study. Further, students will construct solutions for cleaning oil off of a water surface in this lab-based lesson.

Suggested subject areas:All sciences, economics, engineering, social studies

Lesson components and descriptions:

Oil Spill Solutions Lesson Plan Gives an overview of all lesson materials and a step-by-step guide for the lab component. ()

Oil Spill Solutions Handouts Includes background information on the ecological impacts of oil spills such as the impacts on bird wings and food chains. Lab instructions and accompanying worksheet also included. ()

Oil Spill Solutions Presentation The 15-minute presentation is available to work through the major events/impacts of the 2010 British Petroleum spill in addition to their clean-up methods. This presentation should be given after the lab is completed. ()

Solana: Renewable Energy in Your Neck of the….Desert

Time: 30-40 min close reading lesson, for

Grades: 9-12

Lesson description: This close reading lesson is designed to demonstrate the tradeoffs in investment in renewable energy strategies like solar power plants to meet our future energy needs. In this lesson, students will explore a solar power plant that uses a trough system to concentrate solar power for energy. Students will read short news articles about a recently constructed solar power plant outside of Phoenix, AZ and work in groups to discuss how our energy needs affect the three pillars of sustainability: the economy, the society and the environment.

Suggested subject areas: All sciences, social studies, business, math

Lesson Components and Descrption:

Close Reading Lesson Plan Gives and overview of the close reading lesson, along with step-by-step instruction for each activity ()

Video Questions Sheet Note sheet () provides questiosn to assist students in effective note taking during video

Close Reading Questions The direction sheet provides step-by-step instructions and the two articles for close reading ()