Monday, February 21, 2011

Nuclear Power!

Another type of nonrenewable resource is derived from the metallic element found underground called Uranium. Nuclear power, when we create electricity by obtaining energy from splitting Uranium atoms, is an alternative to burning fossil fuels. There are many pros and cons to nuclear power and in the next week we will spend some time analyzing them. First, let's figure out how it works.


Go to the following website:

Read through the first two pages on this link.

Write a paragraph description of what nuclear energy is and how it works.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Today we did an electricity lab where we created a battery. Journalist Thomas L. Friedman, author of the book Hot, Flat, and Crowded, argues that we need a "green revolution." He suggests that, as a country, we invest in alternative energy products with the same type of enthusiasm that sent people to the moon in the 1960's and 1970's. We need to find "a way to produce abundant, cheap, and reliable electrons" and he argues that the country that does this will receive the most respect from the rest of the world. Why do we need electrons?


Watch the video with the amazing narration.

Right down 5 facts from the video about electricity.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Oil Formation!!

Today we talked about how fossil fuels form. Peat is the material that later forms into oil, coal, or natural gas. There is peat all over the world right now that may, in time, turn into a fossil fuel. It is usually found in swampy areas (and usually it does not smell very good).


Go to the following website: How Stuff Works
There are several pages connected to this link that will provide the answers to the questions.

Answer the following questions in your own words:

1. What is crude oil?

2. What is a hydrocarbon?

3. How do you get gasoline from crude oil?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Electricity seems so clean. We flip a switch and the light goes on. But where does it come from? If we follow the trail of electricity back to its starting point we find a different picture. The mining of coal is not clean or elegant. Mountaintop removal, one common type of coal mining, essentially blows up the surface of the Earth in order to uncover the organic rock underneath. In beautiful West Virginia, there is a debate about whether they should continue their long tradition of coal mining or stop it in order to keep the state in its pristine condition. People on both sides feel very passionately about this and the feuding between them is becoming hostile. But what should be done? If you side with the people who want to stop the mining then you need to sacrifice your own use of electricity. Are you willing to do that? On the other hand, can our Earth survive if we continue to disrupt ecosystems the way we are.


Watch the video below.

Write a paragraph about what you think we should do about electricity consumption in this country.