Advanced Biofuel Curriculum Delivered through Evidence Based Narrative
Teachers will find a progression of four lesson plans in this curriculum. These lessons focus on advanced biofuel projects from across the U.S. that are striving to meet goals of economic, environmental, and social sustainability, while producing alternative fuels and co-products. These lessons are delivered with evidence based narrative material that will engage students in the stories surrounding these progressive biofuels projects.
There are two curricular threads that progress through the lessons. The first thread is the science content to build students’ knowledge of advanced biofuels. The second thread has students progress from deconstructing narrative material to constructing their own narrative in the final lesson.
1. Energy is a physical quantity that follows precise natural laws.
2. Physical processes on Earth are the result of energy flow through the Earth system.
3. Biological processes depend on energy flow through the Earth system.
5. Energy decisions are influenced by economic, political, environmental, and social factors.
6. The amount of energy used by human society depends on many factors.
7. The quality of life of individuals and societies is affected by energy choices.
4. Various sources of energy are used to power human activities.
Associated Grade Levels:
3.6 Humans are part of Earth’s ecosystems and influence energy flow through these systems.
6.8 Amount of energy used can be calculated and monitored.
4.5 Humans generate electricity in multiple ways.
2.5 Movement of matter between reservoirs is driven by Earth’s sources of energy.
1.7 Many different units are used to quantify energy.
1.1 Energy is a quantity that is transferred from system to system.
7.6 Some populations are more vulnerable to impacts of energy choices than others.
5.1 Decisions concerning the use of energy resources are made at many levels.
4.3 Fossil and biofuels are organic matter that contain energy captured from sunlight.
2.2 Sunlight, gravitational potential, decay of radioactive isotopes, and rotation of the Earth
5.4 Energy decisions are influenced by economic factors.
1.4 Energy available to do useful work decreases as it is transferred from system to system.
6.5 Social and technological innovation affects the amount of energy used by human society.
7.3 Environmental quality is impacted by energy choices.
3.4 Energy flows through food webs in one direction, from producers to consumers and decomposers.
5.7 Energy decisions are influenced by social factors.
1.5 Energy comes in different forms and can be divided into categories.
6.6 Behavior and design affect the amount of energy used by human society.
7.4 Increasing demand for and limited supplies of fossil fuels affects quality of life.
4.1 Humans transfer and transform energy from the environment into forms useful for human endeavors
7.1 Economic security is impacted by energy choices.
3.1 The Sun is the major source of energy for organisms and the ecosystems of which they are a part
4.6 Humans intentionally store energy for later use in a number of different ways.
1.8 Power is a measure of energy transfer rate.
6.3 Human demand for energy is increasing.
1.2 The energy of a system or object that results in its temperature is called thermal energy.
3.2 Food is a biofuel used by organisms to acquire energy for internal living processes.
4.2 Humans use of energy is subject to limits and constraints.
5.5 Energy decisions are influenced by political factors.
2.3 Earth’s weather and climate are mostly driven by energy from the Sun.
6.4 Earth has limited energy resources.
1.3 Energy is neither created nor destroyed.
3.5 Ecosystems are affected by changes in the availability of energy and matter.
5.2 Energy infrastructure has inertia.
6.1 Conservation of energy has two very different meanings.
2.6 Greenhouse gases affect energy flow through the Earth system.
6.7 Products and services carry with them embedded energy.
7.2 National security is impacted by energy choices.
2.7 The effects of changes in Earth’s energy system are often not immediately apparent.
4.7 Different sources of energy and different ways energy is transformed, transported, and stored.
5.3 Energy decisions can be made using a systems-based approach.
6.2 One way to manage energy resources is through conservation.
2.1 Earth constantly changes as energy flows through the system.
3.3 Energy available to do useful work decreases as it is transferred from organism to organism.
4.4 Humans transport energy from place to place.
2.4 Water plays a major role in the storage and transfer of energy in the Earth system.
5.6 Energy decisions are influenced by environmental factors.
1.6 Chemical and nuclear reactions involve transfer and transformation of energy.
7.5 Access to energy resources affects quality of life.