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Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

Create Hydrogen Energy

Lesson Description:
HyrdogenEnergy Objectives: students will be able to:
  • Describe the effects human actions have had on the environment over time and explain the resulting consequences as they relate to economic, political, social and environmental change.
  • Identify the need for alternative energy sources and explain how hydrogen energy might be used to address that need.
  • Describe how to use the process of electrolysis to generate hydrogen.
  • Form and test a hypothesis, observe and record the results, analyze the data collected and draw logical conclusions.

Lesson Type:
  • Discussion
  • Project

Sustainability Topic:
  • Energy

GEF Program Category:
  • Green Energy Challenge

Time Needed:
60 minutes
Standards Addressed:

Science Standard 8: Understand the Property and Structure of Matter

  • Benchmark #1: know that matter is made up of tiny particles called atoms, and different arrangements of atoms into groups compose all substances.
  • Benchmark # 4: know that substances containing only one kind of atom are elements and do not break down by normal laboratory reactions (e.g., heating, exposure to electric current, reaction with acids); over 100 elements exist.

Science Standard 12: Understand the Nature of Scientific Inquiry

  • Benchmark # 1: know that there is no fixed procedure called the “scientific method”, but that investigations involve systematic observations, carefully collected, relevant evidence, logical reasoning, and some imagination in developing hypotheses and explanations.
  • Benchmark # 3: design and conduct a scientific investigation (e.g., formulate hypotheses, design and execute investigations, interpret data, synthesize evidence into explanations).
  • Benchmark # 6: use tools and techniques to gather, analyze and interpret scientific data.

Technology Standard 6: Understand the Nature and Uses of Different Forms of Technology

  • Benchmark # 3: know that most technological systems require an input of energy, which is an important consideration both in designing an object or a system and in conserving energy (e.g., so many things require energy that alternative sources to fossil fuels should be used when possible).

Geography Standard 14: Understand How Human Actions Modify the Physical Environment
  • Benchmark # 3: understand the ways in which technology influences the human capacity to modify the physical environment (e.g., the effects of the introduction of electricity, combustion engine vehicles, chemicals and fertilizers).
  • Benchmark # 4: understand the environmental consequences of both the unintended and intended outcome of major technological changes in human history (e.g., the effects of automobiles using fossil fuels, nuclear power plants creating the problem of nuclear-waste storage, the expansion of the amount of land brought into agriculture).

Geography Standard 18: Understand Global Development and Environmental Issues
  • Benchmark # 1: understand how the interaction between physical systems and human systems affects the current conditions on earth (e.g., relationships involved in economic, political, social, and environmental changes; geographic impact of using non-renewable and renewable energy sources).

Materials Needed:
  • Nine volt battery (one per group)
  • Aluminum foil
  • Electric wire with alligator clips
  • Beaker or small bowl (one per group)

School or Group:
Green Education Foundation (GEF)
Contact Email:
Lesson Documents:
application/pdf HydrogenEnergy.pdf
Located in: Science

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