Sustainability Lesson 5 Energy
Sustainability Lesson 5 Energy


In this lesson students will learn about energy saving technologies used in transportation as well in providing electricity. Students will give presentations on six different types of alternative energy: hydroelectric (dams, turbines, tidal, ocean currents, etc.), stored energy, nuclear energy, wind energy, solar (multiple sources), and biomass/algae.

Relevant Learning Objectives

1. Connect concepts from a variety of disciplines within the framework of sustainability. 

3.  Evaluate the validity of a news report related to the environment and sustainability OR prepare a scientifically sound argument on a local environmental issue to present at a town forum or in a town newspaper

4. Recognize the role separate countries play in the environmental issues that affect sustainability.


Pre-Class Assignments

  • Students read Osnos reading.

 Possible Classroom Activities

  • Sustainability Lesson 5 Hook (0) Introduce R. Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller, a renowned 20th century inventor and visionary born in Milton, Massachusetts in 1895.
  • Sustainability Lesson 5 Lecture on Energy Resources (0) Using lecture outline and PowerPoint slides, introduce students to the concepts of energy resources.
  • Sustainability Lesson 5 Jigsaw Activity (0) Jigsaw Activity can replace latter part of lecture: Divide students into 6 groups with each group assigned one of the forms of alternative energy. In your group, read and discuss the information about your aspect of the ecosystem. Create a simple poster that explains the energy source and summarizes the advantages and disadvantages.
  • Sustainability Lesson 5 Reading Discussion (0) Optionally, one could shorten the lecture and use class time for a discussion of the main reading.
  • Sustainability Lesson 5 Conclusion (0) Ask student to respond to the following task (write, pair-share, etc) Explain to Prof. Yao Qiang the varied political and cultural attitudes in the US that would shape responses to his statement: Yao Qiang, a professor of thermal engineering at Beijing’s Tsinghua University, quoted by Evan Osnos: “If the government does nothing, the technology is doomed to fail.”


Optional Resources


Next: Sustainability Lesson 6 Potential Solutions: How the Experts Think It Can Be Done