How can innovations in energy be used to solve complex problems?

Questions to hold on to

  • What kind of organisms are algae?

Add to your thinking

The Digital Notebook is a space to hold your thoughts, questions, and growing understanding throughout this Unit.  You will be able to access it from every Module. Use The Digital Notebook to jot your thinking, take notes, or as a space to develop your writing. You can print and export it anytime, and at the end of lesson 8 you’ll be reminded to save a copy for yourself.

Algae Farming

“What’s in the water out there?”

it’s wastewater, the answer is probably: nitrogen and phosphorus. Water treatment centers have traditionally just cleaned the water, using chemicals and bacteria. They are now seeking more sustainable alternatives in the midst of stricter scrutiny and higher environmental standards. One of those alternatives is algae farming. Read More

What Are Algae?

Algae are a diverse group of aquatic organisms that have the ability to conduct photosynthesis. Certain algae are familiar to most people; for instance, seaweeds (such as kelp or phytoplankton), pond scum or the algal blooms in lakes. However, there exists a vast and varied world of algae that are not only helpful to us, but are critical to our existence. Read More

Algae fuel works in the same way as fossil fuels but the carbon dioxide released during combustion is carbon taken from the atmosphere in algae photosynthesis

This is your brain when you feed it the powerful combination of handwritten text and hand sketched images placed on the page in an organized way

All Lesson Videos

Phenomena Board

Investigative Phenomenon Question to investigate What we did What we figured out Connections to the phenomenon Questions we still have
Module 1 How can innovations in energy be used to solve complex problems?  Multiple reads & Save the Last Word protocol Complete with students. Complete with students. Complete with students.
Module 3 How do the topics related to algae farming represent the goals of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals? Connect SDGs to algae farming Complete with students. Complete with students. Complete with students.
Module 4 How can we become experts in our selected topic? Research & Socratic Seminar Complete with students. Complete with students. Complete with students.
Module 5 How can we prototype a solution? Design thinking around a solution for the problem presented in the launch. Complete with students. Complete with students. Complete with students.

Scientific Literacy Rubric

 

 

Module 1

 

 

*this module will take approximately 2 hours

 

Overview

The purpose of Module 1 is for students to discover the impact of energy innovations in solving problems. 

 

Essential Question: How can innovations in energy be used to solve complex problems? 

 

Launch the Anchoring Phenomenon 

Curiosity will be sparked by watching a video about an organization that has designed an innovative solution: 

 

Algae Fuel and Food

 

Description:  Algae food and fuel hope to reduce human dependence on fossil fuels and avert food shortages around the world. Algae fuel works in the same way as fossil fuels but the carbon dioxide released during combustion is carbon taken from the atmosphere in algae photosynthesis. Algae can also be used to create animal feed which currently uses large amounts of soil and water resources. This phenomenon can be used in an energy unit or life science unit related to mass and energy.

 

Engage (15 minutes)

Begin class by showing the Algae Fuel video. As students watch, prompt them to think about and take notes in response to these questions:

  • What do you notice?
  • What do you wonder?

 

After video, capture/chart  – What are we noticing and wondering about …?  

 

Explore (15 minutes)

Show the video a second time – what do we notice watching it a second time?

  • Invite students to turn and talk for a few minutes with an elbow partner as they think about what else they noticed.
  • After a few minutes, bring them back to whole class and invite students to share out additional findings. Add them to the class chart.

 

Explain (30 minutes)

Read Algae Farming article with students, modeling annotation. 

 

Pause throughout reading to think aloud and ask students to watch for connections to the opening video. You may choose to use the following questions to guide discussion:

 

  1. How do the ideas presented in the article connect with the video?
  2. What is new information that helps to explain the purpose of algae raceways?
  3. What else do you wonder after reading this article?

 

Evaluate (30 minutes)

After reading, organize students into small groups of 3-4. Introduce the Save the Last Word for Me protocol as a tool to foster academic conversations about what they have read. They will use it to discuss what they noticed in the article and how it connects to the video. The protocol should take approximately 15-20 minutes. Be sure to review how the protocol works (perhaps even model it for them with a couple of students) before they begin in their small groups.

 

Elaborate (30 minutes)

Show students this short video about Visual Notetaking and tell them they are going to use this strategy as a tool to think about what they have learned today.

 

Pass out blank paper and give students 15-20 minutes to look at their notes and the class chart from the opening video and their notes on the article to create their visual notetaking response to today’s learning. You may consider creating a model for them to see how you would do it.

 

Reflect (5 minutes)

On a post-it note or on the back of their visual notetaking, ask students to respond to the following questions:

  • What is something that resonated with you from today?
  • What is a question you still have?

 

Collect these and review them to show you what they are thinking about as you close today’s lesson. You may choose to address some of their questions as you begin the next module.

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