Alternative Energy Curriculum

This alternative energy unit is 20 (four weeks) days long. It has been developed as a hands-on unit and is to be used with the alternative energy modules purchased by the consortiums. Each week has a theme.

Week 1

What is energy and how do you get it? Included is an introduction to different alternative energies.

Week 2

Focuses on wind energy

Week 3

Focuses on solar energy

Week 4

Focuses on hydrogen

Day 1

  1. To discuss different alternative energies available.
  2. To discuss the importance of energy independence.
  3. To determine which alternative energy sources are best for North Dakota.
  4. To begin exploring how energy comes from motion.

Day 2

  1. To compare the two types of lighting - incandescent and compact fluorescent lightbulbs.
  2. To determine which one is more energy efficient.
  3. To determine which one is more cost effective.

Day 3

  1. To demonstrate concepts in kinetic and potential energy.
  2. To experience the basic physics and engineering concepts inherent in roller coasters.

Day 4

  1. To explain how electromagnets are made.
  2. To explain how electricity and magnetism are related.
  3. To demonstrate how an electric motor works.

Day 5

  1. To explain how electromagnetic waves can generate electricity.
  2. To explain how electricity and magnetism are related.
  3. To demonstrate, explain and measure the difference between AC & DC voltage.

Day 6

  1. To explore renewable versus nonrenewable sources of energy.
  2. To identify advantages of wind energy.
  3. To determine where energy comes from.

Day 7

  1. To explore basic background information on wind energy.
  2. To determine the benefit of different windmill designs.
  3. To determine the advantages that North Dakota has for wind energy.

Day 8

  1. To explore the windtrainer parts and setup.
  2. To predict the possible variable that can be tested with the kit.

Day 9

  1. To define voltage, current, resistance and power.
  2. To design a wind turbine that will produce the maximum amount of power while utilizing the average wind speed in North Dakota (15 mph).

Day 10

Day 11

  1. To explore the benefits of solar energy.
  2. To research different parts of America to identify the benefits of solar energy.
  3. To create a brochure highlighting the benefits of solar energy in an area of North America.

Day 12

  1. To explore what solar energy is.
  2. To discover how solar energy works.
  3. To identify different types of solar energy.
  4. To discover the benefits and drawbacks of solar energy.

Day 13

  1. To construct series and parallel circuits.
  2. To explain the difference between a series and a parallel circuit.
  3. To draw the different circuits created.

Day 14 - 15

  1. To define voltage, current, resistance and power.
  2. To design a solar cell that will produce the maximum amount of power utilizing the sunlight at various times throughout the day.

Day 16

  1. To explore how hydrogen can be used as a fuel.
  2. To discover how alternative fuels can reduce pollution.
  3. To explore key concepts of hydrogen.
  4. To discover that complex topics can be looked at from multiple perspectives.

Day 17

  1. To identify the different parts associated with the hydrogen fuel cell car.
  2. To define electrolysis.
  3. To discover the ratio of hydrogen produced to oxygen.

Day 18

  1. To define voltage, current and power.
  2. To discover how much voltage can be generated by the hydrogen car.

Day 19 - 20

  1. To identify electrolysis, gas storage and the fuel cell.
  2. To examine the ratio between gas volumes.
  3. To determine voltage, current and power generated by the windtrainer.

Additional Activities

If you have any additional alternative energy activities, please submit them to

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