Friday, April 20, 2012

Energy Policy Presentations

The year is 2020. You work for the United States Department of Energy and the president has asked you to create a presentation to give to Congress on what our future energy policy should be.

Your 4 team members are:
Team Leader/Manager (keeps team on track)
Research Coordinator  (finds info and checks facts)
Graphic Designer (ensures clear and persuasive visuals)
Lead Writer (creates persuasive and professional text)

You must explain the following:

1. Why we need a coherent energy policy.
(consider energy needs, population growth, pollution, the economy, climate change)

2. What our energy future should look like to best meet our needs
(consider short-term and long-terms needs of people and the planet.)

3. What 4 sources of energy should we most rely upon? List a percentage for each and explain why.

4. Summarize your points clearly so very busy members of congress will remember your main points.


Your overall presentation will be graded for persuasiveness and scientific accuracy (10 points)

You must create two visual aids and do a 7 minute presentation.

You must create a PowerPoint (at least 8 slides, but no more than 12) AND a one page handout with your main points on it. (10 points each)

Each person must present at least two slides and will be graded for presentation skills. (eye contact, clearly understanding the material, not reading from notes or slides, speaking loudly and clearly) (10 points)

Save your work often. E-mail your rough drafts to me ( AND to all your team members at the end of the period. You will have to work on it outside of class and in class today.

Presentations will be on Thursday, April 26th at 9:00 SHARP! 

Everything's Cool - Politics of Climate Change

Watch the documentary "Everything's Cool" which is available on Netflix
and may be available on YouTube or other sites.

Read the New York Times Movie Review of it which can be found at

Visit the website from the film.

and then...

Answer the "EVERYTHING’S COOL" questions – Answer on a separate sheet. Please copy the questions and use full sentences that make sense. Please proofread for clarity – make sure your ideas come through.
1. What is the filmmaker’s point of view? (In other words, what is his position on climate change AND on the way politics is related to it?)
2. Do you think they have presented convincing evidence for the argument they are making? Give one or more examples from the film to support your opinion.
3. As a society, we make decisions through the political process. Do you think science is being considered fairly in the political process? Explain one way you believe the political process could be improved so science could be used better in decision making.
4. What are your overall reactions to this film? Explain at least two things you learned from it. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sources of Energy

We learned how energy moves through the ecosystem from the sun to producers to consumers, but what about the energy we use to heat our homes, run our factories and fuel our transportation? This unit is about those sources of energy.


Use the following websites as well as others you find to answer the questions below on your worksheet. You may use other sources as well, but start with some of these. 

Energy Quest’s Energy Story site is at Chapter 6-20 are good resources.

The butons on the left side show many different types of energy resources including fossil fuels, nuclear, solar, wind, tidal, hydroelectric, wave, geothermal and biofuels. has some great sites that were made by students for students:

You MUST use your own words. Do not copy from websites or from other students.

1. What is energy?

2. What is the difference between chemical, potential and kinetic energy?

3. What is a “non-renewable” resource? Define it and give 3 examples.

4. What is a “renewable” resource? Define it and give 3 examples. 

5. Explain do you think we still use mostly non-renewable resources? Is this good or bad? Why?

6.  Describe advantages and disadvantages of the following: 
Oil, Coal, Natural Gas, Nuclear, Hydro, Geothermal, Solar, Wind, Biofuels, Others? 

7. What 4 types of energy sources do you think will be used most in the future? Explain your reasons for each source you select.