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The overall goal of this unit is to explore different fossil fuel sources, present-day usage of fossil fuels, and the impact they have on the environment. We will also investigate alternatives to fossil fuels, and possible solutions to the negative impacts fossil fuels have on the environment. Students will explore simple engine models. There will be significant emphasis placed on trying to open the students' eyes to the critical energy situation we are in today, and how it will affect their lives if not seriously addressed.
Though the unit has been designed for a ninth- and tenth-grade Earth Science section, with modifications it could lend itself to most any level science curriculum. Parts of the unit could also be molded to fit into a twentieth century history class, examining changes in American life since the industrial revolution and the advent of the automobile. A political science curriculum might incorporate sections of the unit as they examine the domestic and international implications of energy policies.
This unit will closely follow the standards set forth by the New Haven Public Schools science curriculum. In particular the unit addresses content standard 1.0, scientific inquiry, standard 3.0, life science, and standard 6.0, ecology.
(Recommended for Science and Social Studies, grades 9 and 10.)