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:
1.1 Energy is a quantity that is transferred from system to system.
1.2 The energy of a system or object that results in its temperature is called thermal energy.
1.3 Energy is neither created nor destroyed.
1.4 Energy available to do useful work decreases as it is transferred from system to system.
1.5 Energy comes in different forms and can be divided into categories.
1.6 Chemical and nuclear reactions involve transfer and transformation of energy.
1.7 Many different units are used to quantify energy.
1.8 Power is a measure of energy transfer rate.
2.1 Earth constantly changes as energy flows through the system.
2.2 Sunlight, gravitational potential, decay of radioactive isotopes, and rotation of the Earth
2.3 Earth’s weather and climate are mostly driven by energy from the Sun.
2.4 Water plays a major role in the storage and transfer of energy in the Earth system.
2.5 Movement of matter between reservoirs is driven by Earth’s sources of energy.
2.6 Greenhouse gases affect energy flow through the Earth system.
2.7 The effects of changes in Earth’s energy system are often not immediately apparent.
3.1 The Sun is the major source of energy for organisms and the ecosystems of which they are a part
3.2 Food is a biofuel used by organisms to acquire energy for internal living processes.
3.3 Energy available to do useful work decreases as it is transferred from organism to organism.
3.4 Energy flows through food webs in one direction, from producers to consumers and decomposers.
3.5 Ecosystems are affected by changes in the availability of energy and matter.
3.6 Humans are part of Earth’s ecosystems and influence energy flow through these systems.
4.1 Humans transfer and transform energy from the environment into forms useful for human endeavors
4.2 Humans use of energy is subject to limits and constraints.
4.3 Fossil and biofuels are organic matter that contain energy captured from sunlight.
4.4 Humans transport energy from place to place.
4.5 Humans generate electricity in multiple ways.
4.6 Humans intentionally store energy for later use in a number of different ways.
4.7 Different sources of energy and different ways energy is transformed, transported, and stored.
5.1 Decisions concerning the use of energy resources are made at many levels.
5.2 Energy infrastructure has inertia.
5.3 Energy decisions can be made using a systems-based approach.
5.4 Energy decisions are influenced by economic factors.
5.5 Energy decisions are influenced by political factors.
5.6 Energy decisions are influenced by environmental factors.
5.7 Energy decisions are influenced by social factors.
6.1 Conservation of energy has two very different meanings.
6.2 One way to manage energy resources is through conservation.
6.3 Human demand for energy is increasing.
6.4 Earth has limited energy resources.
6.5 Social and technological innovation affects the amount of energy used by human society.
6.6 Behavior and design affect the amount of energy used by human society.
6.7 Products and services carry with them embedded energy.
6.8 Amount of energy used can be calculated and monitored.
7.1 Economic security is impacted by energy choices.
7.2 National security is impacted by energy choices.
7.3 Environmental quality is impacted by energy choices.
7.4 Increasing demand for and limited supplies of fossil fuels affects quality of life.
7.5 Access to energy resources affects quality of life.
7.6 Some populations are more vulnerable to impacts of energy choices than others.