This activity is the first of five in the High Adventure Science Energy module and focuses on sources of electricity in the US by state as well as consumption in the US by sector and globally per capita.
In this activity, students will determine the environmental effects of existing cars and a fleet consisting of their dream cars. They compute how many tons of heat-trapping gases are produced each year, how much it costs to fuel the cars, and related information. Then, students research and prepare a report about greener transportation choices.
In this activity, students explore what types of energy resources exist in their state by examining a state map and data from the Energy Information Administration. Students identify the different energy sources in their state, including the state's renewable energy potential.
The activity follows a progression that examines the CO2 content of various gases, explores the changes in the atmospheric levels of CO2 from 1958 to 2000 from the Mauna Loa Keeling curve, and the relationship between CO2 and temperature over the past 160,000 years. This provides a foundation for examining individuals' input of CO2 to the atmosphere and how to reduce it.
This set of flow charts illustrates energy sources and uses in 136 countries around the world. The data from 2007, but is still useful for comparing energy patterns in different countries. This is the first comprehensive package of worldwide, country-level energy flowcharts that has been produced.
Sankey (or Spaghetti) diagrams parse out the energy flow by state, based on 2008 data from the Dept. of Energy. These diagrams can help bring a local perspective to energy consumption. The estimates include rejected or lost energy but don't necessarily include losses at the ultimate user end that are due to lack of insulation.
This interactive diagram from the National Academy of Sciences shows how we rely on a variety of primary energy sources (solar, nuclear, hydro, wind, geothermal, natural gas, coal, biomass, oil) to supply energy to four end-use sectors (residential, commercial, industrial, and transportation). It also focuses on lost or degraded energy.
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.