Joules of the River
Grades: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Learning Target: Students will study the kinetic energy of streamflow of a nearby river and compare it to the amount of energy in one gallon of gasoline.
This project will be completed in groups of three.
Question: What volume of flowing river water equals to the energy produced by one gallon of gasoline? Use a nearby river for your calculations.
Tasks to complete:
- Estimate. How much of the moving water in the river equals the amount of energy in one gallon of gasoline?
- Measure and calculate the average velocity of the river.
- Measure and calculate the volume of a section of the river.
- Calculate joules for the kinetic energy of the volume of the river (1 cubic meter = 1000 kilograms).
- Find out how many joules of energy is in 1 gallon of gasoline (research, not through burning).
High school students: Creatively develop methods for solving the tasks.
Middle school students: Click here for support.
- Less than five-minute video showing your answer.
- Include a discussion about the kinetic energy of moving water.
- How much moving water equals one gallon of gasoline?
- Additionally, answer the following questions:
- How did you calculate average velocity?
- How did you calculate the area of the cross-section?
- Creative Question: Is the water being pulled or pushed as it flows? Explain.
- Obtain Peer Review. Revise.
- I can make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
- I can reason abstractly and quantitatively.
- Scale, Proportion, and Quantity
- Energy and Matter