Physics – Alternative Energy Project (Final Unit/Assignment of the Year)

Alternatives…or Not?

Number of Students per Group: 2-3

Goal: The goal of this activity is to make you, the student, aware of the different forms of alternative energy and help you to look at the advantages and disadvantages of each alternative.

Overview: There are two parts of this activity, the first is to research your chosen alternative energy source and write a paper on the subject (details can be found further down the page). The second part of the assignment is to create an online presentation (not PowerPoint  that will convey your thoughts, feelings, and information you found about the alternative energy source. Each part should complement the other. For example, suppose you took an un-supportive approach to wind energy. Your paper and presentation should both convey the same general stance. The presentation is not to be just an audio or video reading of your paper.

Presentation:The presentation will not be presented in class. The presentation will need to be posted online somewhere so that it can be accessed using a public link.  Your presentation will voted on in class by your peers. They will get to weigh in on your presentation and their votes will have a small part to play in the grade you receive. Here are some ideas for your presentation:

  • Radio Commercial (5 minutes – just audio this requires that you provide verbal description and pictures)

  • Infomercial (5 minutes – audio and video which can be done using a webcam and YouTube)

  • Glogster (Online interactive poster)

  • Animoto Video Series (Ten 30 second clips that give us a visual and textual look at your energy resource)

  • Movie (iMovie or windows movie maker)

  • Interview with an Expert (see me about what constitutes an expert)

  • Skit (needs to be recorded and posted online using Vimeo or YouTube)

  • Documentary (can be done using any sort of movie making software)

Presentation Due Date: May 27th (Memorial Day – Just email me the public link)

Presentation Vote Dates: May 28th and 29th (I know exam is 29th)

Research Paper: The paper for this project will be a comprehensive study of the alternative energy resource that your group decides to research. The paper must meet the following criteria:

  • MLA Format (12 pt font, 1” margins, times new roman)

  • Title Page

  • One Paragraph Abstract

  • You must include two resources from companies (data and statistics) in the field as well as two articles that have addressed this alternative energy source within the past 10 years. The articles must be printed off and included as appendices at the end of the paper. (Four sources total.)

  • Content

    • Introduction

      • Tell us about the energy alternative in overview. Give the reader a clear direction on what stance (pro or con) you are going to take.

    • Body

      • Tell us how the energy resource is suppose to function/produce energy.

      • Why is the resource being explored?

      • What are advantages to the energy alternative?

      • What are disadvantages to the energy alternative?

      • How does the energy alternative play into the big picture of American consumption?

      • Are there geographical limitations?

      • Where is this alternative energy resource being used primarily?

      • Which companies are pioneering this alternative energy resource?

      • Are there any major college or universities involved in this alternative energy field?

      • How does your alternative energy resource play into the political field. (Is it liked on capital hill or not?)

      • Etc….

    • Conclusions

      • After presenting the readers with all the facts, you will make pro and con assumptions based on your presented data and conclude with a resolution of support for or against the alternative energy resource.

  • Page Requirement: Five pages double spaced (Not including title page and appendices).

  • Page Numbers and date must be present in the footer on each page except the title page.

Research Paper Due Date: May 28th

NOTE: This research paper and presentation are going to count as half of your final exam grade.

Possible Alternative Energies (There may be no more than two groups per energy source)

  • Hydrogen Fuel

  • Wind Energy (On-Shore)

  • Wind Energy (Off-Shore)

  • Nuclear Energy

  • Hydroelectric Energy

  • Ethanol (Corn Fuel)

  • Solar Energy (Solar Panels)

  • Solar Energy (Mirror Panels)

If you have any questions please see me outside of class. You will be given 1 week to work on this project in class. You will have some computer resources available to you but you will need to bring a laptop/tablet to do some of your own research. We will have 1-2 days in the computer lab (maybe more) depending on scheduling so you can work on both typing your paper and creating your presentation.