Alternative Energy
March 17, 2010 9:05 PM   Subscribe

Useful resources for teaching high-school students about alternative energy?

I'm teaching a two week class to some high-school students about alternative energy. They don't have much of a scientific background, so I want to use lots of demonstrations.

Can anyone recommend a good 'alternative energy' kit? I have seen some interesting kits that have a solar panel and a small wind-turbine, but many of them seemed targeted at children.

Suggestions of any other resources welcome!
posted by a womble is an active kind of sloth to Education (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Don't forget nuclear!

Nuclear Power Plant Simulation
Nuclear Power Game

There are several other links out there like this, where you can change the way the reactor operates based on clicking certain parts, etc. It's fun!
posted by derogatorysphinx at 9:13 PM on March 17, 2010

We played the Stabilization Wedges Game in my university course about climate change, but it can translate pretty easily to high school students. It would be a great introductory activity to help them wrap their heads around the scope of the problem before you launch into the meat of the course.
posted by lilac girl at 10:05 PM on March 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

I've used the Lego renewable energy kit with high school students and it went down pretty well.

You might also want to check out the excellent resources and programs available through the National Renewable Energy Laboratory
posted by girlgenius at 10:58 PM on March 17, 2010

It's tough to beat the wedges game for deep, real insight into the whole energy problem and process. I'd go just with that.

As far as newer solar technologies go, I recall the kits I and others mentioned in this post were pretty good for demonstration purposes:
Simple, fairly cheap, safe materials, and a little less elementary school than what you've mentioned. Hope that helps.
posted by peppito at 11:17 PM on March 17, 2010

Also, has great teacher resources sectionthat you might find useful, including suggestions for experiments. Click on the 'secondary' tab for the ones aimed at high schools.
posted by girlgenius at 11:18 PM on March 17, 2010

Solar Energy International offers Renewable Energy Science Kits and teacher training workshops Renewable Energy for Educators and Advanced Renewable Energy for Educators. If you call, ask for Soozie.
posted by glibhamdreck at 6:10 AM on March 18, 2010

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