Selecting Sites for Renewable Energy Projects

In this activity, students use Google Earth to investigate a variety of renewable energy sources and select sites within the United States that would be appropriate for projects based on those sources.

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Glenn A. Richard
Mineral Physics Institute - Stony Brook University
On the Cutting Edge Collection, Science Education Resource Center (SERC)

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Teaching Tips

Teaching Tips

The activity needs to be conducted where all students can work at computer stations individually or in pairs. The laboratory also needs to be equipped with an instructor station connected to a projector so that the students can observe what the instructor is doing during the activity.

The instructor should have enough prior knowledge of Google Earth to be able to troubleshoot common problems related to errors that students may make.

The students should know how to use the 'Fly To' tab in the Search pane, how to zoom in and out, and how to pan the view. They also need to know how to create folders, overlays, and placemarks in Google Earth.

During the activity, it is important to have available people who can assist students who have problems while using the computer stations. Assistants need to have good prior knowledge about the subject matter and about the techniques of using Google Earth.

The students may learn more effectively if the instructor conducts periodic class discussions about the questions during the activity, even though it may make the assessment process less rigorous if the handouts are to be returned to the instructor for grading.