Driving or Multi-dimensional Question:
How can we, as Environmental Resource Engineers, design an apparatus that successfully converts potential energy into kinetic energy by analyzing the natural resources and climate of a particular environment? How can we, as Environmental Resource Engineers, assess kinetic and potential energy sources to design a prototype that powers the Tennessee Valley with clean energy?
Students will analyze and explore the various sources of energy including kinetic, elastic potential and gravitational potential. Then they will design a wind turbine that successfully converts wind into energy. Along the way they will also addresses political concerns about the expansion of wind turbines in Tennessee.
6PS3.1 Analyze the properties of kinetic, elastic potential and gravitational potential.
6PS3.2 Construct a scientific explanation for the transfer of potential energy.
6ETS1.2 Design and test different solutions that impact energy transfer.
1) Identify and give examples of the various forms of energy (kinetic, gravitational potential, elastic potential) and solve mathematical problems regarding the work-energy theorem and power.
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.
4) Collect data and present your findings regarding the law of conservation of energy and the efficiency, mechanical advantage and power of the refined device.
5) Investigate the relationships among kinetic, potential and total energy within a closed system (the law of conservation of energy).
6SPB.5 Summarize numerical data sets in relation to their context.
ELA and Other Standards:
6RL.KID.1 Analyze what a text says and draw logical inferences, cite textual references and cite textual evidence to support conclusion.
6L.KL.3 When writing and speaking, vary sentence patterns for meaning, reader interest and style.
Created By: Evan Curran
Grade Level or Subject: 6th Grade, Physical Science
Tennessee Academic Standards for Science Connection
Disciplinary Core Idea: Students Will Explore Gravitational Potential, Elastic Potential and Kinetic Energy
Science and Engineering Practices: Research and Analyze Sources; Designing and Testing a Model
Cross Cutting Concepts: Energy and Conservation, Cause and Effect
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|
Roller Coaster Review:
Bucket Test Materials:
Destroy the Castle:
Students work in teams to draw a prototype of a piece of equipment that can “Destroy a Castle” by using gravitational potential energy.
Destroy the Castle Website:
Currents of Change Video:
How Do Wind Turbines Work?
Wind Energy in Tennessee:
Sample Articles to Google:
Wind Turbine Prototype:
Materials found on page 6 of Wind Turbine Blade Design Engineering Design Process Planning document will allow students to record how each step of project aligns with steps of the Engineering Design Process.
Students work on designing, testing and improving prototype of wind turbine
Wind Turbine Test:
|Business Partner||Contribution to Learning Experience||Contact Information|
|Students can review “Project Profiles” and “Case Studies” to analyze how major engineering firm analyzes local resources to design solutions for clients.||http://www.kci.com/services/design-build/natural-resources-design-build/|
Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
|Invite staff to Skype with students or invite members to final Wind Turbine Test Day.||http://www.cleanenergy.org/about/staff/|
|Invite staff to Skype with students or invite to final Wind Turbine Test Day.|
Students will design and test a prototype of a wind turbine that effectively converts wind into energy and addresses the political concerns of Tennessee’s representatives about developing more wind turbines in the state. Students will test these prototypes in front of STEM professionals.