## Joules of the River

**Type:** Investigation

**Theme:** Physics

**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.

Instructions

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.

**Submission**

- Less than five-minute video showing your answer.
- Estimation
- 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.

**Resources**

Exit Ticket

CCSS Math Practice

- I can make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
- I can reason abstractly and quantitatively.

NGSS Crosscutting Concepts

- Scale, Proportion, and Quantity
- Energy and Matter