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Student Handout:  Renewable Energy Grade 7 Science

Essential Question:  What are renewable forms of energy and how can they be harnessed to generate power? 

Renewable Energy, sometimes referred to as Alternative Energy, is any source of energy other than fossil fuels or nuclear.  As the name implies, these sources are not in danger of running out.  The world’s demand for energy continues to grow while current energy supplies, such as oil, are declining. Harnessing renewable energy is absolutely essential, as fossil fuels are the main cause of global warming. 

In this unit, you’ll be able to explain these ideas:

  • The world’s energy consumption requires the development of renewable energy sources.
  • Biomass, Wind, Solar, Geothermal, Tidal and Hydroelectric are clean power sources that can help meet the demand for energy
  • The availability of renewable energy sources depends on their location.
  • The feasibility of renewable energy sources must be carefully evaluated.

You’ll learn these skills:

  • Test virtual energy system models against real-time weather and solar data.
  • Using library print and online resources read and take notes on assigned source.
  • Explain how Biomass, Wind, Solar, Geothermal, Tidal and Hydroelectric sources are harnessed and converted into energy.
  • Compare and contrast the renewable sources of energy and identify the conditions that are required to harness each form of energy. 
  • Use maps and graphs to identify renewable sources that are viable for this community.
  • Compose articles, compile data and produce a newspaper using a Word template.

Your Final Project:
Working in teams, you will produce a four-page newspaper insert to promote and market your assigned energy source to readers.  It will include accurate data and detailed supporting evidence found during the research process.  It will contain:

  • At least two articles, 300 words each, double spaced, 12 pt font)
  • Charts, graphs, infographics and other supporting statistical evidence
  • Illustrations or images
  • Source citations

These projects will be placed on display in the PAC foyer during the school-wide Light Fair on March 23. The fair will be open to student groups during the school day, and again in the evening from 6-9 p.m., in conjunction with the Music in Our Schools choral and band concerts.  Many Science classes, as well as other subject areas, such as Art, will also have projects on display.

Calendar for Science Class Periods:  2, 4, 6/7, 10 – in the library unless otherwise noted:

Monday Feb 22

Tuesday Feb 23

Wednesday Feb 24

Thursday Feb 25

Friday Feb 26


Library: Watch Nova Energy Lab videos and take notes


Create Nova accounts


Library: Research assigned energy source and take notes


Library: Finish researching source and share out findings with class


Library: Conduct the virtual lab to test alt energy sources in five cities; discuss results


Library: Examine maps and determine best sources for alt energy in upstate NY


Begin planning

Monday Feb 29

Monday Mar 1

Tuesday Mar 2

Wednesday Mar 3

Friday Mar 4


Library: Begin production of newspaper



(in Science class) production of newspaper


Library: Begin production of newspaper



(in Science class) production of newspaper


Library: Begin production of newspaper


Use These Online Resources:

Make an account:

Video Clips for Day 1:

  • Growing Appetites, Limited Resources – explores the impacts of energy use, the issue of dwindling resources, and the need for alternatives.
  • Energy Defined – covers the basics of this abstract property, what energy is, how it's conserved, and what makes some forms more useful than others.
  • Putting Energy to Use  – explains that making use of energy often involves converting it into other forms.
  • A Never-Ending Supply – explains what makes an alternative source renewable and explores some of the more promising renewable energy sources available.
  • Solar Power – covers the basics of capturing the enduring energy of the Sun and converting it into other forms, especially electrical energy.
  • Wind Power – explains how wind can be captured and transformed into electrical energy and explores some of the challenges of using wind to power cities.
  • Solving the Storage Problem – explores the need for storage, namely the intermittent nature of many renewable resources and explains why this is not an easy problem to solve.
  • Toward a Smarter Grid – looks at the state of the current electric power grid and explains how making the grid "smarter" will make it both more reliable and more efficient.

Simulation Lab for Day 4:

General Alt Energy Websites for Research:




Ocean / Tidal: