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  • Tell students that Activity 1 (Constructing an Argument) of the lesson What are our Energy Choices? introduces the structure of the scientific argumentation they will be asked to do in the rest of the lesson. Tell students that Activity 1 will give them practice with analyzing a data set and making a good scientific argument from the evidence. Encourage students to review the questions and example best answers provided in Activity 1 before starting on the current activity.

  • Subjects & Disciplines

    • Science
      • General science

    Learning Objectives

    Students will:

    • create a good scientific argument in the context of energy

    Teaching Approach

    • Inquiry-based learning

    Teaching Methods

    • Self-directed learning
    • Self-paced learning
    • Writing

    Skills Summary

    This activity targets the following skills:

    • Critical Thinking Skills
      • Creating
  • What You’ll Need

    Materials You Provide

    • Computers with Internet connection

    Required Technology

    • Internet Access: Required
  • Background Information

    Prior Knowledge

    • None

    Recommended Prior Activities

    • None


    Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    claim Verb

    to state as the truth.

    coal Noun

    dark, solid fossil fuel mined from the earth.

    electricity Noun

    set of physical phenomena associated with the presence and flow of electric charge.

    energy Noun

    capacity to do work.

    evidence Noun

    data that can be measured, observed, examined, and analyzed to support a conclusion.

    hydroelectricity Noun

    power generated by moving water converted to electricity. Also called hydroelectric energy or hydroelectric power.

    megawatt hour Noun

    equal to 1,000 kilowatt hours (Kwh), or 1,000 kilowatts of electricity used continuously for one hour. One megawatt-hour equals one million (1,000,000) watt-hours or 3,600,000,000 joules.

    renewable energy Noun

    energy obtained from sources that are virtually inexhaustible and replenish naturally over small time scales relative to the human life span.



This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DRL-1220756. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.