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Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

Grass As Biomass

Lesson Description:
Students will:
  • Understand the sources and properties of energy.
  • Understand the nature of scientific inquiry.
  • Understand the nature and uses of different forms of technology.

Lesson Type:
  • Group Work

Sustainability Topic:
  • Energy
  • Other

Time Needed:
45 minutes
Standards Addressed:
Science Standard 9: Understand the sources and properties of energy.
  • Benchmark # 1: Know that heat is often produced as a byproduct when one form of energy is converted to another form (e.g., biomass produces natural gas that can heat homes, create electricity, and fuel automobiles).

Science Standard 12: Understand the nature of scientific inquiry.
  • Benchmark # 3: Plan and conduct simple investigations.
  • Benchmark # 4: Use appropriate tools and simple equipment (e.g., scale) to gather scientific data and extend the senses.

Technology Standard 6: Understand the nature and uses of different forms of technology.
  • Benchmark # 3: Know that different types of energy (e.g., biomass, solar, fossil fuels) have different advantages and disadvantages (e.g., solar is a cleaner source of energy than fossil fuels, but currently is more expensive), and that regardless of the source of energy, the technological design should attempt to maximize the use of it.

Geography Standard 16: Understand the changes that occur in the meaning, use, distribution and importance of resources.
  • Benchmark # 1: Know the characteristics and uses of renewable resources (e.g., water, wind, biomass) and non-renewable resources (e.g., fossil fuels).

Materials Needed:
  • Milk cartons recycled and reused
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Scissors
  • Potting soil
  • Rye, corn and whole oat seeds
  • Observation charte provided below 
  • "Grass as Biomass Hypotehsis/conclusions Chart" provided below
  • Pencils
  • Permanent marker 

School or Group:
Green Education Foundation (GEF)
Contact Email:
Lesson Documents:
application/pdf GrassAsBiomass.pdf

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