Following their study of Chernobyl and radioactivity, it is possible that your students think that fossil fuels are a safer source of energy than nuclear power. They need to understand that all our choices contain a certain risk. Your students have seen how the burning of fossil fuels produces carbon dioxide which is affecting our climate. A choice needs to be made. How will they power their future?
Students will be able to:
- Write a persuasive essay about the choices in the energy debate.
- Will understand the environmental consequences that accompany the decision.
National Science Education Standard
Content Standard C: The designed world
Energy sources and Use
At present, all fuels have advantages and disadvantages so that society must consider the tradeoffs among them.
Strand 3: Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
Concept 2: Science and Technology in Society
Develop viable solutions to a need or problem.
PO.2 Recognize the importance of basing arguments on a thorough understanding of the core concepts and principles of science and technology.
Nuclear Energy verse Global Warming: http://web.mit.edu/amostai/www/nuclear_global.html
Coal, oil and gas are fossil fuels. They were formed from fossilized plant and animal remains. Most of the energy we use is produced by burning fossil fuels. When coal, oil and gas are burnt, they react with oxygen to form water and carbon dioxide. The percentage of carbon dioxide in the air is increasing, and with more carbon dioxide our atmosphere acts as a greenhouse, retaining heat that would otherwise reflect into space. The observed increases in global temperatures, from Antarctica to Canada are known as global warning. The alternative to fossil fuels maybe that we power our future with nuclear energy. This has its risks.
Related and Resource Websites
EPA On Climate Change http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/index.html
Fossil Fuels http://library.thinkquest.org/17531/fossil.html