Weather is an important factor in human comfort. Who has wanted to trade a 100-degree, full sun scorcher for an overcast 75-degree day with a breeze for an outdoor sports tournament? Or hoping for a warm, sunny day at the beach instead of a thunderstorm?
Before the advent of modern air conditioning, snow and ice were the main ways to keep cool on hot days. In the summer and in warmer climates, ice was a luxury used to cool drinks and cool bodies in the same way refrigeration and air conditioning are used today.
The very first step to thinking about transportation as an energy and resource problem is identifying different modes of transportation. Many forms exist, but they all might not exist in your community. In this activity, students will identify the different modes of transportation.
After identifying and looking at the capacity of different modes of transportation, this activity takes a more problem-solving approach to move individuals from one place to another. If you' and your class are beginning to explore algebraic representation, there is an opportunity to extend the procedure of this activity into mathematical expressions.
The food (and drinks) consumed each day is students' most immediate relationship with energy. It's all around us, and it's inside us, and knowing how much energy we eat is one small part of the overall energy consumption.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses a recommended daily value of 2000 Calories (kcal) across all food labels. From this number and some handy math, manufacturers print the percentage of the daily value of each nutrient provided by the food. However, the 2000 Calorie diet is only a simple benchmark for food standards and labeling, and not always appropriate for every lifestyle, health condition, and individual.
The simplest way to think about the relationship between energy and food is to recognize that food is a form of energy. Food stores chemical energy that bodies convert into kinetic energy to activate muscle power.
Gary Anderson created a recycling symbol in 1970. The three arrows broadly represent the three tenets: recycle, reduce, reuse. They form a continuous circle (more accurately, triangle) representing the ideal of sustainability.
Humans have used dams since ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations restricted the flow of rivers and the extent of floods with earth and mason structures. Either simple or complex, the purpose of the dam is to control the flow of water.
Even in places where it is easy to recycle because of school-wide or community-wide initiatives, many people are confused about what and where to recycle. Students can help other students by creating instructive visual signage for waste collection areas.
Students bring their lunch to school for lots of reasons, dislike of school food, special diet, to fit in with other kids, etc. Many times at home, parents have the greatest of intentions when making or purchasing the food that goes into those lunches.
This activity focuses on the “reuse” theme of reduce-reuse-recycle. Students collect waste materials (paper, bottles, cans, cardboard tubes, fabric, etc) and find other uses for them either practically, for a school project, or as art objects.
Students have the opportunity to become part of the “recycle” process by breaking down used paper and recreating a new, usable product from the waste. This activity can be messy, as students produce paper pulp and then dry it to new sheets of paper.
Students may watch the garbage people come by and think that their waste magically disappears. Some may have been to the dump with a parent and some may have a compost pile or “dump” of their own on their land.
We use energy for everything and could not make it through a single day without it. But we rarely even think about how much we use, what kinds of energy there are, the cost, or the pollution consequences.