What green energy source is best for North Carolina?
Mrs. Haase’s 7th grade science students just finished their WISE research experience on green energy. Students explored scholarly renewable energy online sources for information to support guiding and essential questions. They worked independently, then collaborated with a partner to create a trifold visual and oral presentation. Students were evaluated by their teacher and peers and reflected on their experiences throughout their WISE research journey.
The following guiding questions helped them focus their research and answer the essential question:
- Define your renewable energy source.
- How does it work?
- Why is it important for North Carolina?
- What are the economic benefits?
- What are the environmental benefits?
- What are the practical benefits?
An important part of the research process is to reflect and evaluate throughout the journey. Students completed process checks during the project that allowed them to voice difficulties, successes, and analyze their research findings to make sure they had convincing evidence that supported their essential question.
Wonder: What topic did you choose and why?
I chose solar energy because I think people take the sun for granted and we need the sun to live. –Bailey
I chose biomass because my dad works with it and it seemed interesting. –Willow
I chose geothermal energy because I thought it sounded cool and I’ve never heard about it before. I wanted to learn new information. –Kate
I chose solar energy because I’ve always been really interested in how it works and how much better it is than regular electricity. -Sydney
Investigate: What source gave you the best information?
The encyclopedia gave me the most information about solar energy because I could understand it the best. –Elizabeth
The NCSU website because I loved how it was local and it was very easy to search for information. –Bailey
When I got to pick my own source because I could look for specifically what I needed. –Colleen
The Charlotte Observer gave me great information about the cost. NREL and Britannica gave me information about sun and solar energy. -Rachel
Synthesize: What was your biggest ah-ha from this project?
The biggest ah-ha moment of the whole project was learning the process of how solar energy powers your house. –Natalie
When I found out that geothermal energy could be in your house and that in the future it would be cheaper than your current electricity bill. -Claire
My biggest ah-ha moment was that all of the information wasn’t on only one source. -Lucy
That the solar panels cost a lot of money. –Whitney
Geothermal energy is cheaper in other countries than it is in the United States. –Enjoli
Learning that not all dams produce electricity. -Andrew
Express: What did you do well and what do you need to improve about your oral presentation skills?
Talking to the audience and not looking at the board. –Tommy
I need to improve on not moving as much while I talk to others. –Desiree
Something I did well when presenting was not saying um, so, etc. –Natalie
We convinced people to use solar energy, but we need to learn to present together better. –Drew
I knew what I was talking about. –Kayla
I spoke slowly and clearly which was good, but I need to improve on making eye contact. -Harris