Unit Renewable and Nonrenewable Resources – Fourth Grade by goodbaby

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									Unit: Renewable and Nonrenewable Resources – Fourth Grade

Content Objectives:
  -   S4C3PO1 Describe ways various resources (e.g., air water, plants, animals,
      soil) are utilized to meet the needs of a population.
  -   S4C3PO2 Differentiate renewable resources from nonrenewable resources.
  -   S4C3PO3 Analyze the effect that limited resources (e.g., natural gas,
      minerals) may have an environment.
  -   S4C3PO4 Describe ways in which resources can be conserved (e.g., by
      reducing, reusing, recycling, finding substitutes).

Inquiry Objectives:
  -   S1C2PO3 Formulate predictions in the realm of science based on observed
      cause and effect relationships.
  -   S1C1PO4 Locate information (e.g., book, article, website) related to an
      investigation.
  -   S1C2PO1 Demonstrate safe behavior and appropriate procedures (e.g., use
      and care of technology, materials, organisms) in all science inquiry.
  -   S1C2PO2 Plan a simple investigation that identifies variables to be
      controlled.
  -   S1C2PO3 Conduct controlled investigations (e.g., related to erosion, plant
      life cycles, weather, magnetism) in life, physical, and earth and space
      sciences.
  -   S1C2PO5 Record data in an organized and appropriate format (e.g., t-chart,
      table, list, written log).
  -   S1C3PO1 Analyze data obtained in a scientific investigation to identify
      trends.
  -   S1C3PO2 Formulate conclusions based upon identified trends in data.
  -   S1C3PO3 Determine that data collected is consistent with the formulated
      question.
  -   S1C3PO4 Determine whether the data supports the prediction for an
      investigation.
  -   S1C3PO5 Develop new questions and predictions based upon the data
      collected in the investigation.
  -   S1C4PO1 Communicate verbally or in writing the results of an inquiry.
  -   S1C4PO3 Communicate with other groups or individuals to compare the
      results of a common investigation.



                                                                               1
History and Nature of Science Objectives:
  -   S2C2PO2 Describe the interaction of components in a system.

Science in Personal and Social Perspectives objectives:
  -   S3C1PO1 Describe how natural events and human activities have positive and
      negative impacts on environments. (e.g., fire, floods, pollution, dams).
  -   S3C1PO2 Evaluate the consequences of environmental occurrences that
      happen either rapidly (e.g., fire, flood, tornado) or over a long period of time
      (e.g., drought, melting ice caps, the greenhouse effect, erosion).
  -   S3C2PO1 Describe how science and technology (e.g., computers, air
      conditioning, medicine) have improved the lives of many people.
  -   S3C2PO2 Describe benefits (e.g. easy communications, rapid
      transportation) and risks (e.g., pollution, destruction of natural resources)
      related to the use of technology.

  Main Topics / Activities:
         Lesson One- Powering Our Future -Lesson One
         Lesson Two- Nonrenewable Energy Sources Poster
         Lesson Three- Powering Our Future -Lesson Two
         Lesson Four- Powering Our Future -Lesson Three
         Lesson Five- Recycling, Reducing and Reusing

  Inquiry Activities
         Lesson Six- It’s A Gas
         Lesson Seven- Why Does Coal Burn?
         Lesson Eight-The Color of Solar Energy
         Lesson Nine- Build a Better Solar Cooker
         Lesson Ten- Hydropower Investigation – The Water Wheel
         Lesson Eleven- Wind Power – Building a Better Wind Turbine




                                                                                     2
Lesson One: Powering Our Future- Lesson One: How Will We
Power Our Future? (PO1, 2, and 3)

One Class Period (45-60 minutes)


Purpose/Objectives:
Define, compare, and contrast the differences between renewable and
nonrenewable resources.
List at least four different renewable energy sources.
List at least three nonrenewable energy sources.
Define the term fossil fuels and list three commonly used fossil fuels.

Materials:
Student Handout: Defining Energy              Transparency Master: Natural
Cards                                         Resources Used to Generate
                                              Electricity in Arizona
Teacher Instructions: How to                  Student Booklet: Nonrenewable
Construct the Nonrenewable Energy             Energy Sources – Powering Our Past
Sources Booklet                               and Present, What About Our
                                              Future?
flashlight or candle                          electrical items for demonstration
overhead projector

Procedure: See the Powering Our Future Renewable Energy Education Module for
Grades 4 to 6 Teacher Manual Lessons for Arizona Students lesson one.

You can view either of the two videos below to wrap up the lesson and reinforce
and extend concepts presented during this lesson.

BrainPOP video titled, Natural Resources (2min)
http://www.brainpop.com/science/ourfragileenvironment/naturalresources/

Discovery Education Streaming Video:
Learning about Natural Resources (22min)
Reduce, reuse, recycle are meaningless words to students who do not have a clear understanding of
the importance of natural resources. In this engaging program, students learn about the three
types of natural resources: inexhaustible, renewable, and nonrenewable. The Earth's wide variety of
natural resources will be explored as well as how we use each of them in our daily lives.



                                                                                                 3
Lesson Two: Nonrenewable Energy Sources Poster (PO1 and 2)
Four Class Periods (45-60 minutes each)

Purpose: The purpose of this lesson is for students to research and explain how
nonrenewable resources are formed, how we get them, how they are used to
produce electricity and what the advantages and disadvantages are to using each
resource.
Materials:
Student Booklet: Nonrenewable Energy         Energy Essentials: Fossil Fuel by Nigel
Sources – Powering Our Past and Present,     Saunders and Steven Chapman
What About Our Future? (use from lesson 1)
Energy Essentials: Renewable Energy by       Poster Board
Nigel Saunders and Steven Chapman
Pencils                                      Markers or Colored Pencils
Internet Access (for further research or     glue
to find pictures)
Procedure:
   1. View the BrainPOP video titled, Energy Sources to review and extend
      concepts learned in the previous lesson.
       http://www.brainpop.com/science/energy/energysources/
   2. Introduce students to the Nonrenewable Energy Sources Poster Rubric.
      Explain each requirement and allow students to ask questions.
   3. Show students the research materials they have available and how to find
      the specific information they will need. They can use their booklet from the
      previous lessons, the two trade books listed in the materials and there are
      also many wonderful websites geared toward students on these subjects.
      Brainpop videos:
       Fossil Fuels: http://www.brainpop.com/technology/energytechnology/fossilfuels/
       Gas and Oil: http://www.brainpop.com/science/energy/gasandoil/
       Greenhouse Effect: http://www.brainpop.com/science/energy/gasandoil/
       Fuel Cells: http://www.brainpop.com/science/energy/fuelcells/
       Nuclear Energy: http://www.brainpop.com/science/energy/nuclearenergy/
   4. Divide the students into groups and assign each group an energy source to
      research. Instruct the students to divide up responsibilities EQUALLY
      before beginning to work.
   5. Your will probably need one class period to introduce the assignment. The
      students will need the rest of day one and all of day two for research and
      writing. On day three they will finish up writing and put the poster
      together. On day four they will practice and present.
   6. Hang up the posters for student reference throughout the rest of the unit.



                                                                                        4
Name________________________________                              Student #_____

                           Energy Sources Poster Rubric


                                                                  Student
                                                                   Score
                                                                   (What
                                                      Possible                Teacher
                                                                 score do
                                                       Points                  Score
                                                                 you think
                                                                    you
                                                                 deserve?

Our poster is neatly divided into sections. Each
section has a centered title that tells what            15
information can be found there.

Our poster has a neat and creative title that is
large and centered.                                      3

Our poster contains a paragraph describes how we
get our energy source and/or how it is used to          15
create electricity.
Our poster contains a paragraph that describes the
advantages of using our energy source and/or the        15
various uses of our energy source.

Our poster contains a paragraph that explains the
disadvantages to using our energy source.               15

Our poster possesses illustrations or pictures that
are related to my energy source. We printed them
from the computer or neatly drew and colored them       15
ourselves.

Conventions 6 Traits                                     6
Organization 6 Traits                                    6
During our presentations we faced the audience and
                                                         5
spoke loud, slow, and clear.
Each person in the group had an equal part in the
presentation.                                            5

                                                                             Total
                                                                             Score
                                                                             _______/
                                                                             100




                                                                                        5
Lesson Three: Powering Our Future – Lesson 2: Exploring Our Past
to Power our Future (PO 2)

Three Class Periods (45-60 minutes each)

Purpose: The purpose of this lesson is for students to be able to differentiate
between renewable and nonrenewable resources and to describe the formation of
fossil fuels.

Materials:
student eJournals: Wind Power           Student Handout: How to Construct
eJournal, Hydropower eJournal, and      Your eJournal
Solar Power eJournal
staplers                                computer lab access



Procedure: See the Powering Our Future Renewable Energy Education Module for
Grades 4 to 6 Teacher Manual Lessons for Arizona Students lesson two.



Lesson Four: Powering Our Future – Lesson Three: Renewable
Energy Timeline (PO1, 2, and 3)

Two Class Periods (45-60 minutes each)


Purpose: The purpose of this lesson is for students to be able to analyze and
discuss the connection between historical discoveries and modern inventions,
sequence historical events in relation to other events, identify and describe a
turbine, a generator, a waterwheel, a dam, a wind turbine, the PV effect, a solar
cell and a solar array, define and give examples of potential energy, kinetic energy,
and mechanical energy, and to describe at least one cost and one benefit of a
modern-day solar power, hydropower, or wind power plant.

Materials:
Student Handouts: Hydropower            Sir Isaac Newton quote: On the
Energy Collectables; Wind Power         Shoulders of Giants
Energy Collectables; and Solar Power


                                                                                    6
Energy Collectables
Student Handout: Energy                     Student Handout: eJourney
Collectable Information Cards               Presentation Worksheet
eJourney Timeline                           Instructions for Constructing the
                                            eJourney Timeline
scissors                                    tape
drawing paper, modeling clay and            BrainPOP Videos:
other materials to create replicas of       Dam
                                            Solar Energy
the Energy Collectables

Procedure: See the Powering Our Future Renewable Energy Education Module for
Grades 4 to 6 Teacher Manual Lessons for Arizona Students lesson three.

The following BrainPOP videos can be watched after the students have identified
and described the different ways energy can be produced.
Dams: http://www.brainpop.com/technology/energytechnology/dams/
Solar Energy: http://www.brainpop.com/science/energy/solarenergy/


Lesson Five: Recycling, Reducing, and Reusing (PO4)

Three class periods (45-60 minutes each)


Purpose: The purpose of this lesson is to have students be able to find and analyze
recycling, reducing and reusing materials. This includes finding out why it is
important to recycle, what can be recycled, how people recycle, and what materials
can be remade into when they are recycled. The children will also learn how
reducing the use of materials (water and energy) helps the Earth.

One computer per group (2-4 kids)           pencil
One large piece of white construction       Colored pencils, crayons and makers
paper per group




                                                                                  7
Discovery Education Streaming Videos that also reinforce recycling:

Reducing, Reusing and Recycling: Environmental Concerns (26min)
Solid waste is almost anything a person throws away, including trash and garbage. This program will
focus on the problems created by solid waste and offer ways to help alleviate these problems.
Students will be made aware of the fact that natural resources are often the base for products
that become solid waste and that many such resources are non-renewable, such as the aluminum in a
soda can. Even renewable resources, such as trees that are cut down to make paper, are being
depleted at a faster rate than we can renew them. Pollutants like toxic substances get into the
surrounding soil when garbage is disposed of in dumps. Landfill sites are filling up and new sites are
difficult to find. Improper disposal of waste affects our land, water and air. It is past time to
reduce, reuse and recycle. Students in this video will demonstrate the "Three Rs" approach and we
will see that we are, indeed, responsible for our environment and for the future of our planet.


Procedure:
   1. Break the students into groups. The size of the groups will depend on the
      number of computers you have available. Each group needs to have a
      computer to do research on recycling, reducing and reusing materials.
   2. Have the students go to Microsoft Encarta Kids and type in the word
      recycling. The students then need to read the articles on recycling,
      reducing and reusing.
   3. After they have read the articles, as a group they need to make a poster
      showing ways of recycling, reducing and reusing materials. See the following
      rubric for the contents required on the poster.
   4. When the groups have finished they present the posters to the class.
      Another way to extend this activity is to have the students then hang the
      posters up around the school to help inform other kids of ways they can
      recycle, reduce and reuse materials.




                                                                                                     8
Name________________________________                              Student #_____

                  Recycling, Reducing, Reusing Poster Rubric

                                                                  Student
                                                                   Score
                                                                   (What
                                                      Possible                Teacher
                                                                 score do
                                                       Points                  Score
                                                                 you think
                                                                    you
                                                                 deserve?

Our poster is neatly divided into sections. Each
section has a centered title that tells what            15
information can be found there.

Our poster has a neat and creative title that is
large and centered.                                      3

Our poster contains a paragraph that describes why
                                                        15
it is important for materials to be recycled.
Our poster contains a paragraph that describes
what materials can be recycled and how they can         15
be reused after they are recycled.

Our poster contains a paragraph that explains why
reducing the use of materials is beneficial to the      15
Earth.
Our poster possesses illustrations or pictures that
are related to recycling, reducing and reusing
materials.                                              15



Conventions 6 Traits                                     6
Organization 6 Traits                                    6
During our presentations we faced the audience and
                                                         5
spoke loud, slow, and clear.
Each person in the group had an equal part in the
presentation.                                            5

                                                                             Total
                                                                             Score
                                                                             _______/
                                                                             100




                                                                                        9
Additional Discovery Education Streaming Videos that can be used
to enhance student learning

A Recycling Update (15min)
Host Andrew McNenly finds out how used bottles and cans are processed into new materials.
Students describe the books they have written about the environment. A tour of a recycling depot
shows how large objects such as metal scrap and tires can be re-used.


Real World Science: Trash and the Environment (15min)
By taking a trip to a recycling center, landfill and town dump, kids will learn about what happens to
trash after they "throw it away." The program focuses on the environmental problems created by
solid waste and offers suggestions for ways to alleviate the problem.


Taking Care of Our Earth (17min)
Students learn to care about their environment with the help of four animated characters as they
take a tour of a landfill. Natural resources are identified and shown as students learn how
important it is to conserve them. They also discover how reducing, reusing, and recycling benefit
our environment, and how air and water pollution can hurt it.


The Magic School Bus Holiday Special (28min)
The last day of school before the winter holidays and Wanda plans to see The Nutcracker ballet.
But during a trip to Murph’s (Dolly Parton) recycling plant, the toy soldier she needs to get into the
theater accidentally becomes a plastic pellet! Ms. Frizzle activates the Bus’s Un-Recycler, taking
the class and Murph on a song-filled field trip, where they learn how everyday items are made from
recycled trash.


Keeping Your Community Clean (16min)
Keeping your community clean is very important! In this program, youngsters will see how sanitation
workers help a community by collecting and disposing of garbage. They will also see how recycling
workers use special trucks to pick up materials that can be recycled.




                                                                                                    10
                           Inquiry Activities

The last six lessons (lessons 6-11) in this unit are inquiry-based labs
that could be presented to students in a number of different ways.
You may choose to have students complete them one at a time
sequentially. Although these lessons could be completed in any order,
the biomass lesson can take from two to three weeks and the coal
lesson takes between two and three days to see results. For that
reason, I put them at the beginning. In addition, for the two solar
energy lessons you will need bright, sunny days, so you may need to be
flexible in planning to complete them depending on the time of year.
Further, you may choose to do all or some of this in one special
“energy” day by setting up stations and having volunteers guide
students through each lab. Many of these lessons can be modified to
be quick and easy demonstrations or extended to keep students
engaged in the learning process for multiple lessons. Be creative and
make them work for you in your classroom!!




                                                                          11
Lesson Six: It’s A Gas!

Name_______________________________                Student #___________


                                  It’s a Gas!

Purpose: The purpose of this lab is to determine how biomass can be used as an
energy source.

Warning: This experiment takes a couple of weeks to mature (and it smells bad) so
if you decide to do it, start it at the beginning of the extension activities. Also
make sure you can find a place outside in the sun where the bottle will not be
“tampered with”.

Materials: (per group)

2-liter bottle                         1 balloon
¼ lb. raw ground beef                  1 c. shredded lettuce
3 c. sand                              water
masking tape

Hypothesis: (How do you think biomass is used as an energy source?)
______________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________

Procedures:

   1. Put the ground beef into the bottle. Put the lettuce into the bottle.

   2. Pour sand into the bottle, covering the ground beef and lettuce. Add water
      to make the ingredients moist, but not soggy.
   3. Stretch the balloon over the mouth of the bottle. Then secure the balloon
      with masking tape.
   4. Place the bottle in a sunny location and leave for several weeks.
   5. After the experiment has been completed and observations have been made,
      dispose of the bottle without removing the balloon.



                                                                                 12
Observations:

  Week 1:

  ___________________________________________________________

  ___________________________________________________________

  ___________________________________________________________


  Week 2:

  ___________________________________________________________

  ___________________________________________________________

  ___________________________________________________________



  Week 3:

  ___________________________________________________________

  ___________________________________________________________

  ___________________________________________________________

  Observations (What did you learn? How is biomass used as an energy

  source?):

  ___________________________________________________________

  ___________________________________________________________

  ___________________________________________________________

  ___________________________________________________________

  ___________________________________________________________

  ___________________________________________________________




                                                                       13
Lesson Seven: Why Does Coal Burn?

Name____________________________                   Student #___________


                            Why Does Coal Burn?
Purpose: The purpose of this lab is to find out why coal burns.

Materials: (per group)

one-half cup of    hammer              funnel              quart-size glass
soft or                                                    jar
bituminous coal
water              test tube           rubber band         plastic zipper
                                                           seal bags

Hypothesis: (Why do you think coal burns?)
______________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________


Procedures:

   1. Place the coal into the plastic bag and hammer the coal into a coarse powder.
   2. Place your finger in the small end of the funnel and pour the coal into the
      large end of the funnel, keeping the coal in the funnel with your finger.
   3. Turn the jar upside-down and place it over the funnel.
   4. While holding the funnel tight against the bottom of the jar, turn the jar
      upright and place it on a table.
   5. Remove your finger and slowly fill the jar with water until the funnel is
      completely covered. Be careful not to wash the coal out of the funnel.
   6. Fill the test tube with water and place it upside-down over the small end of
      the funnel. Be careful not to let any air into the test tube.
   7. Mark the water line on the test tube with the rubber band.
   8. Observe the test tube over a two to three day period.




                                                                                 14
Observations (What do you notice happening over the two to three day
period?

Day 1:

______________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________


Day 2:

______________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________


Day 3:
______________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________


Conclusion: (What did you learn? Why does coal burn?)

______________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________




                                                                       15
Lesson Eight: The Color of Solar Energy

Purpose: The purpose of this lab is to find out what color has the best heat-
absorbing capacity.

Materials:

eight identical clear or plastic       eight thermometers with the bulbs
containers                             covered with aluminum foil
construction paper - black, white, and aluminum foil
5 other colors
clear plastic wrap                     rubber bands
scissors

Procedures:

   1. Line the bottom and halfway around the side of each container with a
      different color of paper or the foil.
   2. Place one thermometer inside the container.
   3. Cover the top of each container in two layers of plastic wrap and
      secure the plastic wrap with a rubber band.
   4. Provide each student with a copy of the data collection page.
   5. Have each student predict which container will reach the highest
      temperature, second highest, and so on.
   6. After the groups have recorded their predictions, assign one
      container to each team.
   7. Go outside and place all the containers on the same surface in direct
      sunlight. Position each container so that its unlined side faces the
      sun.
   8. Have each team record its container’s internal temperature every two
      minutes. Instruct the students to stop recording once they have
      three consecutive measurements that show no change in temperature.
   9. Return to the classroom. Write on the board the highest
      temperature recorded for each container. Rank the colors and foil
      and their temperatures from one to eight. Have each student fill in
      its result column with this information.




                                                                           16
10. Have students answer the following questions:
      1) Which colors behaved according to your predictions?
      2) Which colors did not behave according to your predictions?
      3) Why are colors like orange called warm colors?
      4) Why are colors like blue called cool colors?
      5) Which colors would you sue in a solar heat collector?




                                                                      17
Name_______________________________                       Student #______

                     What Color Best Captures Solar Energy?

       Test different colors to see which one best holds heat. Fill in five
additional colors in the chart below. Predict how each color will respond to
solar heat. In the prediction column, write a “1” by the color that your team
predicts will hold the most solar energy. Number the other colors in the
order you think they will heat up, with “8” representing the color that you
think will absorb the least solar energy.
       Place the collector that has been assigned to your team in a sunny
spot with the uncovered side facing the sun. Record the starting
temperature in the first box of the time/temperature chart. Continue to
record the temperature every two minutes. Do not move the container or
block the sun from shining on it. Once you get the same temperature three
times in a row, stop.

                                              COLOR      PREDICTION    RESULT
             COLOR


                                              White
  TIME
              TEMPERATURE
 (minutes)
                                              Black
STARTING

     2

    4

    6

    8

    10


    12


    14


    16
                                               Foil
    18



                                                                           18
Lesson Nine: Build a Better Solar Cooker

Name____________________________                   Student #___________

                        Build a Better Solar Cooker

Purpose: The purpose of this lab is to determine whether a solar cooker will
work better with or without aluminum foil.

Hypothesis:
_________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________



Materials (per student):

2 apple slices     four paper cups     aluminum foil       white paper
black paper        plastic food wrap   scissors            tape
newspaper          rubber bands

Procedures:

   1.  Line the inside of two paper cups with black paper.
   2.  Please a slice of apple in each cup.
   3.  Cover the cups with plastic wrap and secure each with a rubber band.
   4.  Make two large cones with white paper. (Tape each cone to ensure
       that it maintains its shape.)
   5. Line one of the paper cones with aluminum foil.
   6. Place an apple cup inside each cone.
   7. Place each cone inside a second cup to hold the cooker together.
   8. Aim the cookers at the sun.
   9. Crumple newspaper around the bases of the outside cups.
   10. When the apples look cooked, taste each to see which cooker was the
       best apple baker.




                                                                          19
Observations: (Describe what you noticed as the apple slices cooked.)
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________
_________________________________________________________

Conclusion: (Which solar cooker worked better? Why?)
_________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________




                                                                   20
Lesson Ten: Hydropower Investigation
Name______________________________                 Student #___________

               Hydropower Investigation – The Water Wheel

Purpose: The purpose of this lab is to make a small water wheel that
provides enough energy to lift a small weight.

Materials (per group):

aluminum foil pie   scissors           pencil              tape
plate
piece of string     eraser             washer (to use as   source of running
about 45 cm long                       a weight)           water

Procedures:

   1. Cut out the circular bottom of an aluminum foil pie plate. Make eight
      equally spaced cuts toward the center of the foil circle. End each cut
      about 2 cm from the center.
   2. Use a ruler to fold one edge of each section of the plate to make small
      edges.
   3. Punch a hold in the center of the plate and push a pencil through it.
      The pencil should fit snugly in the hole. Secure the pencil to the
      wheel with tape.
   4. Hold the wheel under a slow stream of water such as a faucet.
      Position the wheel so the water hits the blades. Let the ends of the
      pencil rest lightly between your thumbs and index fingers. The wheel
      should wind the string onto the pencil, lifting the weight.
   5. Vary the speed of the flowing water over the water wheel and
      observe.
   6. Vary the amount of weight attached to the pencil and repeat the
      experiment.




                                                                          21
Observations:

     1. What happens to the wheel when the water flows

        quickly?____________________________________________

        __________________________________________________

     2. What happens when the rate of flow is

        reduced?___________________________________________

        __________________________________________________

     3. What happens when the weight attached to the pencil is

        increased?__________________________________________

        __________________________________________________

     4. Discuss three things that affect the amount of weight that can be

        lifted by the water

        wheel._____________________________________________

        __________________________________________________

        __________________________________________________

        __________________________________________________

        __________________________________________________

        __________________________________________________




                                                                       22
Conclusion (What did you learn?)

   1. How does this model serve as a model for electric generation through

      hydropower?___________________________________________

      ____________________________________________________

      ____________________________________________________

   2. How could the model be

      improved?_____________________________________________

      ____________________________________________________

      ____________________________________________________




                                                                        23
Lesson Eleven: Wind Investigation: Building a Better Wind
Turbine

Name________________________________                      Student #______

                Wind Power: Building a Better Wind Turbine

Purpose: The purpose of this lab is to build a wind turbine, determine ways
to improve the design, then change “variables” in the design to build a better
machine.

Materials (per group):

a pin                                   a square piece of construction paper
                                        (8.5” x 8.5”)
a sharpened pencil with an eraser       scissors

Students will need other supplies as they redesign their wind turbines. You
may want to have card stock, manila folders, larger pieces of paper, etc
available to students.

Procedure:

   1. Lay the square of paper flat on a table and draw a line diagonally from
      each corner to the opposite corner.
   2. Mark the center of the square where the two lines cross and punch a
      small hold through it with the pencil tip.
   3. Cut along each line stopping about an inch from the hole in the center
      of the square. Take the pin and punch a hole in the top left corner of
      each of the four flaps. (No two holes should be next to each other.)
   4. Pick up a flap at a punch corner and carefully curve it over toward the
      center hole, securing it with the pin. Repeat this for the other flaps.
   5. When all four flaps are held by the pin, carefully lift the paper
      without letting the flaps unfurl. Lay the pencil flat on a table and
      carefully push the point of the pin into the side of the eraser.
   6. Now your pinwheel is complete and ready to go. Pick up the pinwheel
      near the pencil point and let it catch the wind. (Students should
      discover that the pinwheel only spins when the wind hits its center.)


                                                                            24
   7. Students will evaluate and analyze their design for flaws and suggest
       improvements. Keep in mind that the goal of the wind turbine is to
       catch as much wind as possible.
   8. Have students list the variable about their simple turbine that could
       be changed. (ex. material blades made of, size of blade, etc.)
   9. Students will choose one of the variables on their model and
       investigate ways to change it so as to improve its ability to catch wind.
   10. Students will design a new wind turbine incorporating the change to
       the variable they have chosen.
   11. Build and then test the new model you have designed.

Conclusion (What have you learned?):
Describe the original wind turbine.
Explain the changes you wanted to make and why you thought it would
improve the wind turbine’s performance.
How did your changes actually work out?

Extensions:

   1. Have the students develop designs and build wind turbines for more
      than one variable.
   2. Students can attach washers to a paper clip attached to a string, then
      use a hairdryer (on cool) to move the blades of the wind turbine. As
      the blades turn, the string should wind around the shaft of the wind
      turbine and lift the washers. The more washers the wind turbine can
      lift, the better the design.
   3. Lay out a sheet of paper and have each student place their turbine on
      the “coast” using clay as a stand. This will result in a “wind farm”. Use
      a fan to create wind and have students try to position their wind
      turbine to optimize the work it can do.




                                                                              25
Name_____________________________                         Student #____

                    Building a Better Wind Turbine

Purpose: The purpose of this lab is to build a wind turbine, determine ways
to improve the design, then change “variables” in the design to build a better
machine.

Materials (per group):

a pin                                   a square piece of construction paper
                                        (8.5” x 8.5”)
a sharpened pencil with an eraser       scissors

You will need other supplies as you redesign your wind turbine.

Procedure:

   1. Lay the square of paper flat on a table and draw a line diagonally from
      each corner to the opposite corner.
   2. Mark the center of the square where the two lines cross and punch a
      small hold through it with the pencil tip.
   3. Cut along each line stopping about an inch from the hole in the center
      of the square. Take the pin and punch a hole in the top left corner of
      each of the four flaps. (No two holes should be next to each other.)
   4. Pick up a flap at a punch corner and carefully curve it over toward the
      center hole, securing it with the pin. Repeat this for the other flaps.
   5. When all four flaps are held by the pin, carefully lift the paper
      without letting the flaps unfurl. Lay the pencil flat on a table and
      carefully push the point of the pin into the side of the eraser.
   6. Now your pinwheel is complete and ready to go. Pick up the pinwheel
      near the pencil point and let it catch the wind.
   7. Study this pinwheel design for flaws and suggest improvements. Keep
      in mind that the goal of the wind turbine is to catch as much wind as
      possible.




                                                                            26
      8. List the variables about this simple turbine that could be changed to
         improve its performance.

1)
2)
3)
4)
5)
6)
7)
8)
9)
10)

      9. Choose one of the variables on the model and investigate ways to
         change it so as to improve its ability to catch wind.

      Design Element to be changed: _______________________________

      10. Design a new wind turbine incorporating the change to the variable
         you have chosen.
      Changes you want to make: __________________________________

      How will this change improve the wind turbine’s ability to collect wind?
      _______________________________________________________

      _______________________________________________________

      _______________________________________________________

      _______________________________________________________

      _______________________________________________________

      11. Build and then test the new model you have designed.




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Conclusion (What have you learned?):
Describe the original wind turbine.
Explain the changes you wanted to make and why you thought it would
improve the wind turbine’s performance.
How did your changes actually work out?

_________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________




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Resources:
SRP
http://www.srpnet.com/menu/community.aspx
This web site has loads more resources and information as well as a virtual
tour of a power plant.

The NEED Project: Putting Energy into Education
http://www.need.org/
This website has information packets on each energy source that can be
downloaded as well as reinforcement and review activities. It’s definitely
worth checking out and incorporating some of these into your teaching!




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