Students use their understanding of energy production on Earth to decide which form of energy would be the most viable for generating electricity on Mars.
By making decisions about the viability of energy production technologies on Mars, students deepen their understanding of energy-related technologies used on Earth and practice their abilities to make scientific evidence-based decisions.
1. Organize your students into small groups (2-4 students) and provide each student with a copy of the "Do we have the power to live on Mars?" worksheet. Ask groups to suggest which form of energy used on Earth would be the best for providing electricity for a human settlement on Mars.
2. Invite groups to share their decisions and thinking with the class. As groups share, use their ideas to co-develop or present the criteria for viability. Criteria for a viable technology would include:
Be sure students understand the criteria before proceeding to the next step in the activity.
3. Provide each group with a copy of the "Assessing energy technologies" worksheet and the "Comparing energy technologies" and "How does Mars compare to Earth?" handouts. Assign each group one form energy production technology (solar power, wind power, hydroelectricity, geothermal power, nuclear power, and fossil fuel power).
4. Ask each group to assess the viability of their assigned form of energy, reminding them to note their ratings and scientific evidence on the worksheet.
5. Encourage groups to share their final rating of their assigned technology with the class.
6. Ask your students to compare their final assessments of each technology to their initial decisions. Encourage them to add to or revise their initial predictions and justifications.
Ask students to determine if a community made up of a given number of people on Mars would consume more or less energy than a community of the same number of people on Earth.
This activity gets students thinking about how natural resources and geography play a part in how energy is generated in a specific region.
In British Columbia, the abundance of mountains, hills, lakes, rivers and streams make it an ideal province for hydroelectricity. 98% of the electricity in B.C. is clean energy generated by hydroelectric dams.
Throughout the activity consider how well students:
Which part of the dam has the greatest impact on its power output?
How often do Newton’s 1st and 2nd laws apply in the same situation?
Learn how geologic features and climate influence the location of various energy forms.
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