Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Solar Energy

The sun, as sung by They Might Be Giants, is a mass of incandescent gas, a giant nuclear furnace.  Are they accurate in their description?  We have been talking about alternative energy systems and one, very well known system, is the photovoltaic cell (aka solar panels) which captures sunlight and transfers that energy into electricity.  There are many innovations emerging to improve upon this technology.

Go to the site and either watch the video (the link is called  "Video: Solar Power") or read the article (be sure and expand the document to read the whole thing).

Write down five facts from either the video or the article, then respond to the question, "Do you think that the sun will solve our energy problems?"

Friday, March 20, 2009

Robotic Fish to Hunt for Pollution

This $30,000 robotic fish is designed to swim through the ocean and detect pollution.  It can swim around (very realistically) for 8 hours, after which it needs to return to a charging station. 

Monday, March 16, 2009

Innovation Nation

Wind farm, Mersey Estuary, UK
As we are researching alternative energy resources, it is important to note that the technologies are changing all the time.  Every day you can find new information about improvements to the alternative energy industry.  It's very exciting to watch the innovations emerge as people feel the pressure of living a more sustainable life.


Pick one of the articles below.  Read the article and write a one paragraph summary of it.  Provide detail in your paragraphs and include one quote.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Thursday's BlogWork

Hi everybody.  I'm sorry that I haven't been in school for the past couple of days.  I'm currently in the Rocky Mountains and I'm seeing some amazing rock formations.  The ecosystem is very different out here.  It is very dry and desert-like.  In addition, the Rockies are at a much higher elevation than what I am used to in Philadelphia.  As a result, I find myself breathing heavily after walking up a set of stairs.  Do you know why that is?


Go to the following link, read the source, and answer these questions:

1.  How long have biofuels been around?
2.  Why are gasoline and diesel ancient biofuels?
3.  Where do biofuels come from and how are they made?
4.  Are biofuels renewable or nonrenewable?  Why?

Above and Beyond:  Do you think that biofuels provide a viable energy resource for our country?  Why or why not?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Pacific barreleye fish

Marine biologists have captured a Pacific barreleye fish on video.  With its transparent head, it is possibly one of the strangest animals I have ever seen.