inquiryHub® Fuels Kit
inquiryHub® is a research-practice partnership that designs, tests, and implements tools and strategies that support teachers in promoting equity and justice in STEM education. Part of a full-year high school chemistry curriculum, inquiryHub® Fuels is open access and available through Google Drive™. This NGSS-aligned unit is phenomenon-based and takes a storyline approach to support students engaging in 3-dimensional learning.
This high school chemistry unit starts with recognition of an urgent problemthe need to change how we get energy for transportation, to limit carbon emissions and curb global climate change. This leads to noticing that an alternate fuel, hydrogen (used in rockets), has a much higher energy output per gram than gasoline, plus it produces no CO2 through burning. The natural question is: So why don't we just use rocket fuel in our cars and not gasoline? Through investigating the answer to this question, students first look to chemical reactions and energy to figure out why rearranging matter sometimes seems to result in a net increase or decrease in energy of the surroundings. They then zoom in to the atomic scale to build and refine models of bonding that help explain these changes in energy at the bulk scale.
After building a final model to explain hydrogen combustion’s unique appeal, students return to the big picture and ask additional questions. What would it take to use this fuel in our vehicles and in so doing combat climate change? What must be weighed and considered in this decision that has profound implications for human and more than human life on the planet? By the end of the unit, students develop ideas about bond energy and endothermic and exothermic reactions, the mole, and engineering and design in the context of earth systems and human and more than human impacts.
Kit includes sufficient materials for 30 students working in groups of 4 (or less). Note: To download this 3-dimensional curriculum for FREE, click here.
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