From turning on the lights to driving around town, we all use energy every day! We mainly get our energy from coal, petroleum, and natural gas. These are types of fossil fuels and are nonrenewable. The good news is that we have options for renewable energy sources! Watch this video to learn about the types of renewable energy sources. https://www.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/renewable-energy-clean-tech-solutions/flipside-science-exploring-energy-video/
Check out this Illinois family corn and soybean farm that talk about the power of growing biofuels!
Who knew that a good ol’ fashioned cow pie could give us energy?! Check out this farm that is completely powered with cow manure! https://illinois.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/exploring-energy-powered-by-poop/renewable-energy-powered-by-poop/
Don’t forget to read through our own Ag in the Classroom Renewable Energy Ag Mag! http://www.agintheclassroom.org/TeacherResources/AgMags/Renewable%20Energy%20Ag%20Mag%20for%20SmartBoard.pdf
Read Aloud: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba
The great thing about this book is that it is based on a true story! Here’s a video of the story as told by William’s family and friends.
Try out this activity and build your own working windmill! How much weight can your windmill lift? Don’t have the materials suggested in the directions? Get creative with what you have at home!
On a normal day, the roads are rarely bare. We have so many errands to run and places to be every day! First, watch this video on energy sources and petroleum. https://www.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/whats-the-deal-with-fossil-fuels/flipside-science-exploring-energy-video/#.XqCTCMhKiUl
So, how can we continue maintaining our busy lifestyles while reducing our carbon footprint? Watch this video on biofuels! https://www.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/buses-and-biofuels-sustainable-transportation/flipside-science-exploring-energy-video/#.XpCVoahKg2w
Now that you understand the benefits of renewable energies, like biofuels, try out this fun activity!
For hundreds of years, humans have used the flow of water for power. Can you design and build your own waterwheel to lift an object?
Something for Everyone
Exercise can even generate power! Check out this little hamster light the way!
Assessment and Extended Response
- Why did William Kamkwamba design and build a windmill out of scraps? (To produce electricity for their village and to draw water from the ground to water their fields during the drought)
- What kind of renewable energy was William using for electricity? (wind)
*Can you explain why wind id considered a ‘renewable’ energy?
- What are fossil fuels? (Coal, oil, and natural gas we use for energy. They are made from preserved remains of ancient plants and algae)
- What other household items do we make using petroleum? (plastic bags, plastic bottles, footballs, clothes, cellphones/laptops, toothpastes, soaps and shampoos)
*Explain how the use of biofuels can help reduce our carbon footprint.