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Renewable Energy

Course Description

The earth’s population is growing rapidly, and we need to find new, innovative ways to ensure that we are able to provide for our global energy needs. Students will look at the reasons why sustainability is important, take a balanced and evidence-based look at climate change, and learn new ways that we can harness renewable resources.

Unit 1: Renewable Energy and Sustainability: Overview

This unit examines the renewable energy and sustainability options currently available, how they are being used, and the benefits and drawbacks of each. It will also look at unsustainable patterns and the environmental, economic, and social issues surrounding them. In addition, this unit will look at the issue of sustainability from individual, local, and global viewpoints.

Unit 2: Renewable Energy Options: Part 1

This unit provides an in depth look at the following types of renewable energy: wind energy, geothermal energy, and solar energy. This unit examines the history, usage, costs, and mechanics of each. It will also look at the research currently being done to advance each of these renewable energies.

Unit 3: Renewable Energy Options: Part 2

This unit provides an in depth look at the following types of renewable energy: hydro energy, bioenergy, and ocean energy. This unit examines the history, usage, costs, and mechanics of each. It will also look at the research currently being done to advance each of these renewable energies.

Unit 4: Assessing Renewable Energy Technologies

This unit provides an overview of how to assess renewable energy technologies. This unit examines how to measure the success of renewable energies and their technologies based on their technological promise, economic feasibility, environmental impact, efficiency and performance, commercialization potential, and the long-term outlook of renewable energy technologies.

Unit 5: The Future of Renewable Energy

This unit will explore the future of renewable energy and the careers that are making it happen. This unit examines renewable energy policies and incentives, the possibility of a global energy grid, and the roadblocks and challenges of transitioning to a renewable energy fueled world. It also examines how renewable energy is being used to improve quality of life in developing countries and the future models of renewable energy.

Unit 6: Aspects of Sustainability – Part 1

This unit will explore the history of sustainability. It will provide an overview of the Five Pillars of Sustainability and examine the first three in depth: nature conservation, limited toxicity, and resource productivity. It will also look at how we can organize our environment for minimal environmental impact and the how globalization has affected our environment. It will also examine how toxicity can be limited in the interest of health and safety. Resource productivity will also be studied and factors will be identified that can increase the life of our products.

Unit 7: Aspects of Sustainability – Part 2

This unit will explore social ecology, the fourth pillar of sustainability. The deficiency and being needs of human beings, as defined by Maslow, will be examined. This unit will focus on how the biological societal prerequisites for survival can be met in a sustainable manner.

Unit 8: Sustainable Societies

This unit will examine sustainability from the lens of cultural ecology. It will look at the interactions between social structures, social institutions, and social practices and how they impact the environment. It will also investigate ways to make these interactions more sustainable.

Unit 9: Biodiversity

This unit will examine the Earth’s amazing biodiversity and why it needs protecting. It will explore the ways humans have impacted the environment and evaluate sustainable choices for the future. It will also study the laws and initiatives that have been put in place to balance human needs with those of the environment.

Unit 10: Smart Growth and the Built Environment

This unit will investigate the problems with urban sprawl. It will examine the components of the urban planning theory of smart growth and how it can create more vibrant and sustainable cities by improving built environments and establishing a sense of place. It will also explore how suburban areas can be retrofitted to make them more sustainable.

Course Details

  • Date October 4, 2012
  • Tags High School Electives, STEM
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