Educators: Subject areas include high school science, government, and language arts.
STATE/COMMUNITY ENERGY RESEARCH PROJECT
1. Read the background essays and discussion questions for the episodes Harvesting the Wind and State of Resolve. Watch the episodes and discuss the post-viewing questions.
2. Do you think the community wind model used in Minnesota could work in other states? How about in your state? What about other forms of renewable energy? Do you know if there is a policy in your state regarding greenhouse gas emissions like California?
3. Research the issues and availability of energy resources (both renewable and non-renewable) in your state or community. Investigate if there are policies in place.
. What types of energy are available?
. What types are being used? Why?
. What types are not being used? Why?
4. Create a proposal for the way energy resources could be used in your state. Do one or both of the following:
4a. Write a persuasive essay or a letter to a local government official advocating your position on a positive energy choice. For example, consider if the federal government should or should not institute similar laws nationwide to those passed in California in 2006. Be specific, include the research you've done (e.g. newspapers, magazines, journals) and explain why you think it will be beneficial to your community.
4b. Create a presentation based on the research you've done and invite a local government official to come to the school to hear the presentation.
Some questions to consider when writing your essay/letter or creating a presentation:
. Could the policies such as those in California be applied to your state as is? Why or why not?
. How could they be revised or broadened to include all states? Is this necessary?
. Could local wind farms be an option in the communities in your state? Why or why not?
5. Share your work with your community and peers. Submit your work to the school newspaper, local paper and Web logs. If you decide to create a presentation, invite additional peers and teachers. Videotape your presentation and post it on http://www.teachertube.com/ and/or http://www.schooltube.com/
Windustry's Wind Farmers Network
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Dan Juhl and Woodstock Wind Farm
NATIONAL STANDARDS FROM MCREL STANDARD
Standard 1.9: Writes persuasive compositions that address problems/solutions or causes/effects (e.g., articulates a position through a thesis statement; anticipates and addresses counter arguments; backs up assertions using specific rhetorical devices [appeals to logic, appeals to emotion, uses personal anecdotes]; develops arguments using a variety of methods such as examples and details, commonly accepted beliefs, expert opinion, cause-and-effect reasoning, comparison-contrast reasoning)
Standard 4.2: Uses a variety of print and electronic sources to gather information for research topics (e.g., news sources such as magazines, radio, television, newspapers; government publications; microfiche; telephone information services; databases; field studies; speeches; technical documents; periodicals; Internet)
Standard 8.5: Makes formal presentations to the class (e.g., includes definitions for clarity; supports main ideas using anecdotes, examples, statistics, analogies, and other evidence; uses visual aids or technology, such as transparencies, slides, electronic media; cites information sources)
Standard 8.8: Responds to questions and feedback about own presentations (e.g., clarifies and defends ideas, expands on a topic, uses logical arguments, modifies organization, evaluates effectiveness, sets goals for future presentations)
Standard 5.6: Knows renewable and non-renewable sources of energy (e.g., fossil, wind, nuclear, solar)
Standard 16.3: Understands the role of research and development in the production of new or improved products, processes, and materials
Standard 17.6: Understands tradeoffs among characteristics such as safety, function, cost, ease of operation, quality of post-purchase support, and environmental impact when selecting systems for specific purposes
Standard 2.3: Knows ways in which social and economic forces influence which technologies will be developed and used (e.g., cultural and personal values, consumer acceptance, patent laws, availability of risk capital, the federal budget, local and national regulations, media attention, economic competition, tax incentives)
Standard 3.3: Knows that alternatives, risks, costs, and benefits must be considered when deciding on proposals to introduce new technologies or to curtail existing ones (e.g., Are there alternative ways to achieve the same ends? Who benefits and who suffers? What are the financial and social costs and who bears them? How serious are the risks and who is in jeopardy? What resources will be needed and where will they come from?)
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