Fire Bad, Water Good

Energy, the magical commodity that is destroying our world. Well, not anymore! In science class, we created generators powered by the environment to charge an iPhone!

This project was really cool because we were building something that could actually be used. Like, you could legit take it into the woods, find a stream, and power stuff! I had a lot of fun building it, and then seeing how awesome it actually was by measuring the energy production!

Now, it’s time for curricular competencies!

Contribute to finding solutions to problems at a local and/or global level through inquiry.

For this project, we were focusing on using energy from nature to power our generators. This is really important now, because of all the issues our world is having with global warming. Learning about this, and how to build a generator that uses clean energy, can help us in the future. Also, all the materials we used were reused from previous science projects!

Make observations aimed at identifying their own questions, including increasingly complex ones, about the natural world.

When we were first pitched this task, we had to figure how exactly we were going to capture energy from nature. We had to look at our natural environment, and see what we could create. Seeing as Vancouver is very rainy, and there are many streams nearby, my partner and I decided to create a water powered generator. Water is a very strong force, and our generator worked very well.

Global warming is all around us, making our summers warmer, decreasing our snowpacks, and so much more. The little things we do in class, like reusing materials, can help our world. We had to research what types of generators would use natural energy. Although there are many types of renewable energy sources, our world uses a lot of fossil fuels. Having our project relate to what is actually going on in the world makes the projects seem less far fetched. Knowing how energy is produced can help us in the future.
For this project, we had to graph the energy production of our generators against a solar panel. With our past projects we have done this type of graphing quite a bit, so those skills really transferred over. Seeing how our generator measured up against the solar panel was really cool. The cost saving was less cool. Although it is always cool to see how what we do in class measures up to the real world, energy doesn’t seem to be that expensive, at least to charge your phone. It’d take about 72,000 days for our generator to be the same price as regular energy, but at least it’s something!