SOLAR ENERGY IN THE US

Grade level: 3rd – 5th grades

Skills: Addition & Subtraction (Decimal numbers)

Related environmental issues: Energy /  Renewable Energy

The table below shows shows how much new solar power was installed the United States each year between 2008 and 2017. Solar power means electricity generated by solar panels.

1 Gigawatt = 100,000,000 kilowatts (With 1 gigawatt of solar power, we can power 190,000 homes!)

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1. Which year has the largest number?

2. What is the difference between the numbers of the years 2014 and 2015?

3. Is the amount of solar panels installed in 2011 more than those installed in 2009 and 2010 combined or less?

4. What is the difference between the largest number and the smallest number?

5. Which year has the number 4.4 larger than  0.38?

6. Which two numbers make the largest value when added?

Sources:

 

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Answer keys

  1. 2016
  2. 7.5 – 6.24 = 1.26
  3. More : 1.92 > (0.38 + 0.85)
  4. 15.13 – 0.3 = 14.83
  5. 2013
  6. 15.13 and 10.61

 

Which car is clearer – Ford F150, Toyota RAV4 or Honda Civic?

Grade level:  5th grades

Skills:  Multiplication and division (decimals)

Related environmental issues: Air / Climate change / Energy

Area level: National, State, Regional, Household

Burning gasoline in motor vehicles is one of the biggest causes of air pollution in the United States. How much gasoline your car uses is strongly connected to how dirty the air in your area is. The table below shows how many miles three cars can run on one gallon of gasoline. Those three cars are the top-8 best-selling vehicles during the first half of 2018 in the United States.

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1. Which car can go half as far as Honda Civic on one gallon of gasoline?

2. An average American drives 280 miles a week. How much gasoline does an owner of each car use on average?

3. Which car among the three is more environmentally friendly? Why? Explain.

4. If the price of gasoline today is $3 a gallon, how much money does an owner of each car need to spend for gasoline in a week on average?

5. Which car among the three would you like to by? Why? Explain.

Source: 1) Business Insider, 2018 2) fuel economy.gov, 2018 3) U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, 2018

Note: Average Annual Miles per Driver: 13,476 miles (U.S. Department of Transportation, 2018)


Answer Key

  1. Ford F150
  2. Ford F150: 280 ÷ 16 = 17.5 (gallons)   Toyota Rav 4: 280 ÷ 25 = 11.2 (gallons)   Honda Civic:  280 ÷ 32 = 8.75 (gallons)
  3. Honda Civic: It uses less gasoline and emits less air pollutants into the air.
  4. Ford F150: 17.5 x 3 = $52.5  Toyota Rav 4: 11.2 x 3 = $33.6  Honda Civic:  8.75 x 3 = $26.25
  5. Answers may vary