Leg Overview:

This leg focuses on different types of renewable energy sources for transportation that produce less pollution as a way to help our environment. It aims to clarify the different types of renewable energy sources, where they come from, and where we are using them.

Key Themes and Guiding Questions:

  • What is energy?
  • How does your body get energy?
  • How do cars, homes, refrigerators, stoves, flashlights get energy?
  • What are examples of renewable and nonrenewable energy sources?
  • Why is it important to have renewable energy sources?
  • What types of energy to hybrid vehicles use?
  • What is a solar panel? How does it work?
  • What is a wind turbine? How does it work?
  • What is a biofuel? What is it made out of?
  • What are other examples of renewable energy sources?

Supplemental Activities:

  • Environmentally Friendly Car Design: Compare current car options and discuss their impact on the environment. Then, design and build a toy vehicle that has minimal impact on the environment. (Upper Elementary, Middle School)
  • Comparison of Vehicle Technology: Discuss how internal combustion engines, diesel engines, electric (and hybrid) vehicles, and fuel cells produce energy. Then plan a road trip and determine the best vehicle for the route. (Upper Elementary, Middle School)
  • Energy for Electric Vehicles: Discuss how all-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles receive electricity from various sources depending on the location where they plug-in to recharge. (Upper Elementary, Middle School)

Standards Connections:

  • K-2 ETS1 - Engineering Design
  • 3-5-ETS1 - Engineering Design
  • 4- PS3 - Energy
  • K-ESS2 - Earth’s Systems
  • K-ESS3 - Earth and Human Activity
  • 5- ESS3 - Earth and Human Activity
  • 1-ESS1 - Earth’s Place in the Universe
  • 5-PS3 - Energy
  • 5-LS2 - Cycles of matter and energy transfer in ecosystems
  • MS- PS3 - Energy
  • MS-LS2 - Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
  • MS-ESS1 - Earth’s Place in the Universe
  • MS- ESS2 - Earth’s Systems
  • MS-ESS3 - Earth and Human Activity
  • MS-ETS1 - Engineering Design
  • HS-PS3 - Energy
  • HS- ESS1 - Earth’s Place in the Universe
  • HS- ESS2 - Earth’s Systems
  • HS- ESS3 - Earth and Human Activity
  • HS-ETS1 - Engineering Design

Additional Resources:

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