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Renewable Energy

8-10 yrs old

11-13 yrs old

Geography

Science

Technology

Introduce students to alternative energy sources by having them build homes that make use of renewable energy in different Minecraft biomes.

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avatar Submitted By: Minecraft Education

March 13, 2018

Learning Objectives

  • Students will be able to articulate the difference between fossil fuels and renewable energy sources.
  • Students will demonstrate knowledge of renewable energy sources.
  • Students will be able to identify locations best suited for renewable energy usage.
  • Students will be able to articulate the pros and cons of using renewable energy sources.

Guiding Ideas

What are the differences between fossil fuels and renewable energy?

  • Fossil fuels are limited in quantity and create carbon dioxide when burned.
  • Renewable energy sources are constantly being replenished. Sunlight, wind, water, etc.

How much are we using renewable resources vs. fossil fuels?

  • Fossil fuels currently supply 80% of energy needs in US.

What are the pros and cons and renewable energy sources?

  • Pros
    • Decreases air and water pollution, helps to combat climate change
    • Sources such as wind, solar, tidal, and geothermal energy won’t run out
    • Stable price over time (unlike fossil fuels)
  • Cons
    • Hard to produce energy on same large scale as fossil fuels.
    • Solar and wind vary with the weather, time of day, and season
    • Can disrupt natural environment in areas where power plants are built
    • Can be expensive to build
    • Resource quality is location-specific

Discuss hydroelectric power, such as that supplied by the Hoover Dam, as an example of renewable energy. For background information on hydroelectric power and other sources of renewable electricity technology, see the Water for Energy chapter of the Resourcefulness STEM App:

http://www.stem.guide

Student Activities

In groups, have students choose a type of renewable energy on which to focus their research.

Find a Minecraft biome similar to the selected climate ideal for the chosen renewable energy source and create a version of this type of power within Minecraft as well as home that makes use of this power.

https://minecraft.gamepedia.com/Biome

Use the starter worlds provided, create a new world and explore, or search online for a “Seed” world that matches your needs.

Examples:

  • Wind: Plains, Mesa, Savanna, Plateau
  • Solar: Savanna, Desert, Mesa, Plains
  • Hydro: Forest, River, Hills
  • Geothermal: Hills, Savanna, Plains, Desert, Plateau, Ocean, Beach, The Nether
  • Tidal: Ocean, Beach
  • Biomass: Plains, Forest

Performance Expectations

Students should make use of the camera within Minecraft to take pictures of their build, then use these images to help illustrate a presentation on their groups’ chosen renewable energy type.

Students should be able to answer the following questions:

  • What is a renewable resource?
  • What is the process by which it is converted into usable energy?
  • What are the pros and cons of this type of energy?
  • What are the best locations to make use of this renewable energy source?

If possible, students will identify areas of their own country best suited to different types of renewable energy.

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Resourcefulness STEM curriculum developed and distributed by Disco Learning Media, authored by Dr. Michael E. Webber, and underwritten by Itron, Inc.