What! there's no more gas...

Unit Title: WHAT! There’s no more gas.

Grade Level(s): 8-12

Subject/Topic Areas: Science/Physical Science/Earth Science

Technology: TI-83 Plus Calculators and Probes.  GPS units.

Time Frame:  3 Weeks (50 min/per)

Implementation Dates: April 2004

Unit Designer(s) [Name and Position]: Tod Bak, Network Admin./Science Teacher

School District: Wakonda School D13-2

School: Wakonda High School


Students were ask to brainstorm as many alternative energy sources they could think of.  Most students came up with 2-3 ideas.  When we combined the class we had about 4-5 possibilities.  After the unit was complete, we added an additional 4 to our original list.


Another brainstorming picture.  The students were in groups of 3-4 with a designated leader and recorder.  The students came up with some interesting ideas on the types of information and data that was needed.  This was the letter that was given to set up the situation they were in.


Students were placed in groups of 3-4 in a competition to find 7 treasures that were placed around the school.  One student worked the GPS with the others helping find the object.  Students had to rotate the GPS so everybody learned how to use.


Students discovered they had to be in motion for the GPS unit to work.  Good place to explain to the students the need for a lock on 3 satellites.  We discovered some of the uses on the GPS before we had the competition.  Once a group found the treasure, they had to extract a number indicating which order they had found the treasure.  The group with the lowest numbers composite of numbers was considered the winners.
We had to use the computers to find information about the AG products produced in our school district.  The information the students were looking for came from their generated questions. Surprisingly, there were several sites that listed the average bushels of corn and beans produced in Clay county.  From that information we reasoned out the number of bushels and eventually the amount of alternative energy that could be produced.
This is the AG group with some of the information they collected on possible alternative energy sources.  The students gathered information of corn and soybeans but realized we produce more that these two types of crops.
This group was in charge of the hydro-electric possibilities.  They found information on rainfall and the amount of energy that could by produced by it assuming we could capture and utilize all of it.  The students realized that most of the water would be needed for other uses.  They are holding up their representation of the school district.  The school district is approx. 141.2 square miles.
This student is marking some of the waterways that originate or pass through our district.  She is drawing the Vermillion River.  The school district consists of  3 streams/rivers continually flowing and several that flow during rain runoff.  We collected data using the CBL on the flow-rate.
This groups primary focus was on solar energy.  They had to collect data on the amount of solar energy the hit our school district.  They had to look at the amount of energy produced by solar panels. They also reasoned out how much energy could be produced if we used solar panels.  They had an idea to find out how much could be produced by just fitting the rooftops with soar panels.
This is the solar group using the light probe and solar panel to discover how the amount of light relates to the energy captured by the solar panel and converted.  Just making sure everything was in working order.

This is the wind powered group.  They documented some areas in our school district that contain either higher winds or more sustained wind patterns.  They looked at the bluffs that run West to East in our school district as being a possible spot.  They also looked into types of wind generators available.  I wish I could have toured a company in Iowa which manufactures wind generators.

This is the wind powered group using the fan and a flow rate probe to discover what type of data could be collected utilizing this probe.  Just making sure everything was going to work as planned.