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Ravenous fossil fuel consumption and inefficient energy use have been persistent human practices for more than 250 years, resulting in global warming and other catastrophic consequences that threaten the sustainability of life on Earth. This unit focuses on the disastrous environmental effects our abuse of fossil fuels have caused while covering the benefits of green energy sources and ways to adopt environmentally-friendly life habits.
Over the course of the unit, students will create their own ecological self-portrait, develop ways to increase their positive impact on the environment, research the increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere as a result of fossil fuel consumption and design a future home that incorporates clean energy resources to produce a minimal carbon footprint. Although the unit includes strong ties to the California locale, it can be modified to include features from other regions. The unit is designed for middle school students and includes both individual and collaborative group work.
(Developed for Integrated Science, grades 6-7; recommended for Science, grades 6-7)