ENERGY, Design Competition: Energy Systems of the Future!
By Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, April 5, 2010
- Middle School
- Green Design
- Language Arts
Common Core State Standards
English Language Arts Standards: Speaking and Listening
Comprehension and Collaboration:
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6-8.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade level topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6-8.1.A Come to discussions prepared, having read or researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe and reflect on ideas under discussion.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6-8.2 Analyze the purpose of information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and evaluate the motives (e.g., social, commercial, political) behind its presentation.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.3 Delineate a speaker's argument and specific claims, evaluating the soundness of the reasoning and relevance and sufficiency of the evidence and identifying when irrelevant evidence is introduced.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6-8.4 Present claims and findings, emphasizing salient points in a focused, coherent manner with relevant evidence, sound valid reasoning, and well-chosen details; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6-8.5 Integrate multimedia and visual displays into presentations to clarify information, strengthen claims and evidence, and add interest.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6-8.6 Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate. (See grade 8 Language standards 1 and 3 here for specific expectations.)
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6-8.1 Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6-8.2 Determine two or more central ideas in a text and analyze their development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6-8.3 Analyze the interactions between individuals, events, and ideas in a text (e.g., how ideas influence individuals or events, or how individuals influence ideas or events).
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6-8.5 Analyze the structure an author uses to organize a text, including how the major sections contribute to the whole and to the development of the ideas.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6-8.6 Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how the author distinguishes his or her position from that of others.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6-8.7 Compare and contrast a text to an audio, video, or multimedia version of the text, analyzing each medium's portrayal of the subject (e.g., how the delivery of a speech affects the impact of the words).
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6-8.8 Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and sufficient to support the claims.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6-7.9 Analyze how two or more authors writing about the same topic shape their presentations of key information by emphasizing different evidence or advancing different interpretations of facts.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.6-8.10 By the end of the year, read and comprehend literary nonfiction in the grades 6-8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.2 Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; provide an accurate summary of the text distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.3 Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.4 Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 6-8 texts and topics.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.7 Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.8 Distinguish among facts, reasoned judgment based on research findings, and speculation in a text.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.9 Compare and contrast the information gained from experiments, simulations, video, or multimedia sources with that gained from reading a text on the same topic.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.6-8.2 Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/ experiments, or technical processes.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.6-8.2.A Introduce a topic clearly, previewing what is to follow; organize ideas, concepts, and information into broader categories as appropriate to achieving purpose; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., charts, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.6-8.2.B Develop the topic with relevant, well-chosen facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.6-8.2.C Use appropriate and varied transitions to create cohesion and clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.6-8.2.D Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to inform about or explain the topic.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.6-8.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.6-8.5 With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.6-8.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and present the relationships between information and ideas clearly and efficiently.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.6-8.7 Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.6-8.8 Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.
- CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.6-8.9 Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
- Students will be introduced to various forms of renewable and conventional energy sources.
- Students will develop concepts and designs for energy infrastructure using renewable energy sources.
- Students will understand the impacts of electricity production on our air, land and water resources.
- Students will think critically about how to design a shared resource considering many elements like cost, impact and overall design.
- Volts – Flow (speed of energy)
- Amps – Capacity (thickness of wire)
- Power (watts) – measurement of electricity (NOT ENERGY)
- Energy Equation: Power = Volts x Amps
- Coal is the most common fuel for generating electricity in the United States.
- In 2007, nearly half (49%) of the Country's 4.1 trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity used coal as its source of energy. (See PDF for more jeopardy questions and answers)
- Circuits - Electricity travels in closed loops, or circuits. It must have a complete path before the electrons can move. If a circuit is open, the electrons cannot flow. When we flip on a light switch, we close a circuit. The electricity flows from an electric wire, through the light bulb, and back out another wire.
- Transformers - To solve the problem of sending electricity over long distances, inventor William Stanley developed a device called a transformer. The electricity produced by a generator travels along cables to a transformer, which changes electricity from low voltage to high voltage. Electricity can be moved long distances more efficiently using high voltage. Transmission lines are used to carry the electricity to a substation. Substations have transformers that change the high voltage electricity into lower voltage electricity. From the substation, distribution lines carry the electricity to homes, offices, and factories, which require low voltage electricity.
- Turbines - An electric utility power station uses either a turbine, engine, water wheel, or other similar machine to drive an electric generator — a device that converts mechanical or chemical energy to electricity. Steam turbines, internal-combustion engines, gas combustion turbines, water turbines, and wind turbines are the most common methods to generate electricity.
- All power generators or plants have a physical footprint (the area where they are placed or located).
- Emissions that result from the combustion of these fuels include:
- Carbon dioxide (CO2)
- Carbon monoxide (CO)
- Sulfur dioxide (SO2)
- Nitrogen oxides (NOX)
- Particulate matter (PM)
- Heavy metals such as mercury
- Nearly all combustion byproducts have negative impacts on the environment and human health:
- Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and a source of global warming. SO2 causes acid rain, which is harmful to plants and to animals that live in water, and it worsens or causes respiratory illnesses and heart diseases, particularly in children and the elderly.
- NOX contributes to ground level ozone, which irritates and damages the lungs.
- PM results in hazy conditions in cites and scenic areas, and, along with ozone, contributes to asthma and chronic bronchitis, especially in children and the elderly. Very small, or “fine PM” is also thought to cause emphysema and lung cancer.
- Heavy metals such as mercury can be hazardous to human and animal health.
Energy Provider/Source (who is the service provider?)
Electricity ( ____)
Your School (kw-h), Home (kw-h), City/Town (kw-h)
Air Quality, Water Quality, Land Footprint, Carbon Emissions
Natural Gas/Oil (_______)
Your School (BTUs), Home (BTUs), City/Town (BTUs)
Air Quality, Water Quality, Land Footprint, Carbon Emissions
- Biomass – A renewable energy that uses discarded organic wastes
- Water (hydropower and oceanpower) – Uses the movement and flow of water to generate electricity (See BioWAVE Ocean-Energy Systems in the 2010 National Design Triennial)
- Geothermal – An energy source that uses the heat difference found in the earth to create steam or heat water that can be used to regulate temperatures or generate electricity.
- Wind – An energy source that exploits the power of wind through a turbine.
- Solar (Photovoltaic and Solar Thermal) – PV systems convert the sun’s light into electricity. Solar thermal systems use the sun’s heat energy to create electricity or heat for a home/building.
- Z-10 Concentrated Solar-power System - The Z-10 concentrated solar-power system, designed by Ezri Tarazi and Ori Levin from Tarazi Studio, uses simple mirrors to gather and focus light onto a small, fifteen-square-inch “generator” that converts sunlight into electrical and thermal energy. The overall system is a parabolic optical dish, which serves as a tracker, following the sun from dawn until dusk, much like a sunflower. In April 2009, the first field of thirty-two concentrated solar dishes was installed in Kibbutz Yavne, a community of 1,100 inhabitants near Tel Aviv, where it is expected to generate one-third of the kibbutz’s electricity needs and all of its hot water.
- Hope Solar Tower - Solar towers capture solar energy to produce electricity. The Australian company EnviroMission is currently commercializing solar-tower technology. The Hope solar tower operates by collecting the sun’s radiation to heat a large body of air under an expansive collector zone, which acts as a giant greenhouse. Based on the principle that heat rises, this air flows towards the center of the collector through electricity generating turbines and up and out of the tower, like a chimney. A single 200-megawatt solar tower is estimated to produce enough electricity to power approximately half a million households, preventing more than one million tons of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere.
- bioWAVE Ocean-wave Energy System - The bioWAVE, developed by Australia-based BioPower Systems, is a new device that harnesses the power of ocean waves and converts it into smart grid–connected electricity. Like wind and solar energy, ocean-wave energy is an abundant source of renewable energy, with coastlines awash with untapped clean power. But rather than a visually obtrusive system installed at or near the water’s surface, the bioWAVE is an underwater unit mounted on the seabed, imitating the swaying motion of sea plants. The bioWAVE is designed to orient itself to the direction of waves and to lie flat when extreme conditions prevail. The swaying motion activated by the ocean’s fluctuations is used to drive an onboard generator that produces electrical power, delivered ashore via a subsea cable. Each unit is expected to generate up to two megawatts of energy, and multiple machines can be deployed as a farm, harvesting enough clean power to meet utility-scale electricity needs.
- Infrastructure questions
- Capital cost
- Community sharing programs – communities share the cost of installing a small energy system that offsets multiple homes or buildings.
- Consumer Hookup or “Smart Meters” – many communities now have smart meters which help them monitor their energy efficiency measures and reduce their consumption levels.
- Each team must choose one or more renewable energy source to use.
- Create a description of the energy source and estimate the cost and size of implementation.
- Create a map that shows how energy will get to consumers and how you will convince them to “buy” into the new system.
- The average home consumes about 800 kw/h of electricity each month
- A school consumes on average 10,000 kw/h of electricity each month
- A larger sized building on average consumes 25,000 kw/h each month
- Wind Turbine – 30-40 kw/h of electricity
- PV Arrays – 1000 kw/h of electricity
- Ocean Power System – 500 kw/h of electricity
- How much power will you use this evening while you are at home? Can you think of three ways to reduce this?
- What are some words or images that come to mind when you hear the word “energy”? Feel free to write or sketch your response.
- Do you think that better designs arise from competing against your classmates or from working with them? Why?
Enrichment Extension Activities
- You can find useful lesson plans, activities and games at http://www.eia.gov/kids/ that can help your students gain a better understanding of energy, renewable sources of energy and the environmental impact of energy consumption.
- Try Squishy Circuits to demonstrate the flow of electricity through open and closed circuits using a fun material - play dough!
- For the design challenge, ask your students to imagine what renewable source of energy they can use to power their Squishy Circuit instead of the battery. How can they multiply that by hundreds or thousands to supply the entire city with electricity? They can draw sketches and maps of their ideas to share with the class.
- Students can visit a local power plant and interview experts about the power system currently employed in their community. If possible, they can visit a renewable power station, as well, and inquire about the challenges facing their community in implementing new energy sources. If a visit in person is not possible, conduct an online visit using Skype.
- The research from these interviews should inform the students' design choices in creating the energy infrastructure of the future.