Driving or Multi-dimensional Question:
Phenomena: Fukushima Diichi Nuclear Power Plant Meltdown
Japan has ceased production of energy for all 34 of its nuclear reactors since the nuclear power plant meltdown and is importing fossil fuels. Because Japan has very few natural resources and is a small country, this is not a sustainable solution. Japan is searching for a solution to help them find a clean, safe and simple alternative energy solution that will meet the demands of a growing population. Students will design a prototype vertical-axis wind turbine applying the concept of energy transformation. They will modify their design blades to convert wind power into mechanical power that produces the most rotations per minute as measured by the voltage, or enough to light an LED bulb. Students will reflect on their design, communicate scientifically and demonstrate their learning in a creative way. They will modify their design by increasing efficiency and power output, while reducing costs and risks.
As the world’s population continues to grow exponentially, increasing demands are placed on conventional fossil fuels. In this Project Based Lesson, students will assess conventional and alternative energy systems, and create and design models of wind turbines and solar cars. They will determine the output necessary to meet regional energy needs in the 21st century in a sustainable manner. Students will compare and contrast TVA with Japan and propose a solution to Japan’s need for an alternative energy resource.
3) Design, build and refine a device within design constraints that has a series of simple machines to transfer energy and/or do mechanical work.
14) Develop models to illustrate the changes in the composition of the nucleus of the atom and the energy released during the processes of fission, fusion and radioactive decay.
15) Communicate scientific and technical information about nuclear energy and radioactive isotopes with respect to their impact on society.
ELA and Other Standards:
TN.51: Describe how the Great Depression and New Deal programs impacted Tennesseans, including the significance of: The Agricultural Adjustment Act, Civilian Conservation Corps, Tennessee Valley Authority and Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
EVSC.ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
11. Define problems and suggest solutions associated with using, conserving and recycling energy and mineral resources taking into account economic, social and environmental cost and benefits.
12. Ask questions about technology needed to develop alternative energy sources and obtain information from various sources to answer those questions.
EVSC.ETS2: Links among engineering, technology, science and society.
1) Engage in argument from evidence on the role engineering and technology play in a sustainable human society.
Created By: Sonia Hodges
Grade Level or Subject: Physical Science
Tennessee Academic Standards for Science Connection
Disciplinary Core Idea: Energy Manifests Itself in Multiple Ways, Such as in Motion, Sound, Light and Thermal Energy. Energy is a Quantitative Property of a System that Depends on the Motion and Interactions of Matter and Radiation Within that System.
Science and Engineering Practices: Design a Solution to a Complete Real-World Problem, Based on Scientific Knowledge, Prioritized Criteria and Tradeoff Considerations. Analyze Complex Real-World Problems by Specifying Criteria and Constraints for Success.
Cross Cutting Concepts: Modern Civilizations Depend on Major Technological Systems. Engineers Continuously Modify These Technological Systems by Applying Scientific Knowledge and Engineering Practices to Increase Benefits While Decreasing Costs and Risks.
21st Century Skills
- Critical Thinking
- Communication Skills
- Collaboration (Team Building)
- Creativity and Innovation
For more information on this lesson please see the Lesson Resources below
|Activities||Resources and Materials|
Activity 1: Create a Solar Oven
Activity 2: Create a Solar Car
Renewable Energy at TVA:
Activity 1: Picture Analysis of a Flood Situation
Activity 2: Build a Water Wheel
Activity 3: Play Build a Dam Using a Computer Application
Hydroelectric Energy at TVA:
Build a Dam Website:
Activity: Design and Construct a Wind Turbine
TVA Renewables Website:
Nuclear Power Website:
Electricity and Careers:
Out of the Darkness:
Energy Careers Website:
Propose a Solution to Japan’s Need for a Clean, Safe, Efficient Energy Source.
|Business Partner||Contribution to Learning Experience||Contact Information|
|Local Power Company||Funds to purchase alternative energy STEM kits||https://www.tva.com/Energy/Public-Power-Partnerships/Local-Power-Companies|
|Carolina Biological||STEM kits for alternative energy|
|TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority)||Online resources related to energy||
|Currents of Change||Online resources to help teach about social and economic development in the Tennessee Valley||http://www.currentsofchange.net/|
|Activities found online and in A Demo a Day activities books|
Students will use a Google Slides presentation to present an effective proposal for the change to alternative energies by showing the advantages and the economic impact to Japan. Students will show a computational analysis of the economic impact of the need for alternative energy. Students will compare the Tennessee Valley’s usage to that of Japan and propose the best energy solution based on Japan’s needs.