This detailed chemistry lesson from the U.S. Department of Energy focuses on transforming vegetable oil into biodiesel through a process of transesterification. The process described offers a good model for many chemical reaction processes that are used to produce a viable product.
Students use Google Earth to analyze oil consumption per capita in the US and around the world. Students then use spreadsheets to create graphs and calculate statistics regarding per capita energy use among various categories.
In this activity, student teams research and develop a proposal to decrease the carbon footprint of their city's/town's public transportation system and then prepare a report that explains why their transportation plan is the best for their community.
In this activity, students reconstruct past climates using lake varves as a proxy to interpret long-term climate patterns and to understand annual sediment deposition and how it relates to weather and climate patterns.
This short video surveys the different current and potential sources of energy - both non-renewable and renewable. It provides some discussion of the pros and cons of the different sources and explains how they are used to produce energy that people can use.
This activity focuses on applying analytic tools such as pie charts and bar graphs to gain a better understanding of practical energy use issues. Also provides experience with how different types of data collected affect the outcome of statistical visualization tools.
In this mock mission, students become members of a research team and conduct a series of tasks to audit Earth's radiative budget. They use a Java Applet/visual viewer to access satellite data sets, calculate the balance of incoming and outgoing solar radiation, and defend their answers to a number of science questions.