Energy of the Future


You are leading expert on a blue ribbon panel commissioned by the Minister of Energy for a united federation of countries on the planet earth. The world leaders of these countries have been forewarned by leading experts, such as you, about the consumption of energy and the viable alternatives to oil and coal. These leaders know the dire predictions and want to have a plan in place for the next 20-50 years. Future goals for these countries include maintaining the quality of life for their citizens, which includes a reasonable con­sumption of energy for heating their homes, providing electricity for their basic needs, and allowing the citizens the freedom to travel. These countries also aspire to creating new technologies and new ways of life and would possi­bly consider including some form of space travel, colonization of new planets, and research beyond the planet earth. For the planet earth, the old world order of coal and oil is slowly com­ing to an end with the even­tual depletion of these materials and they may no longer be viable sources of energy. What would you use? Your blue ribbon panel will be commissioned to re­search one source of energy, both the pros and cons of the use of this form of energy, and will present your findings to the Minister of Energy and to the other blue ribbon panels. Once all the blue ribbon panels have presented their findings, you and your panel will be asked to discuss with all your colleagues all the findings and decide on an energy plan for the united federation of countries.

Steps and Criteria
  1. You and your panel will need to do some research as to the form of energy that you have been commissioned to study.

  2. Your research must include:

a. Good and reliable sources.

b. An ongoing discussion with your colleagues which can take to place both as face to face and online discussions on this page (because, as experts, you are busy people and may not be located in the same state or country as your fellow panelists).

c. Both pros and cons to the energy source. As much as you are an expert in this particular field, you, as a scientist, must present an unbiased report on this source.

d. Key criteria. How do these criteria affect your plan? Examples of criteria may include: Cost effectiveness? Ease of use? Ease of delivery? Sustainability? Renewable? Availability? Meeting the needs of consumers? Environmental impact?

3. Before the presentations, each panelist needs to read all the online discussions in order to prepare him/herself for both the blue ribbon panel presentations and the entire group discussions.

4. Present an unbiased plan to the Minister of Energy and to the other blue ribbon panels. Your presentation should convey the most important facts of your research, including past history and use of the energy source, current uses and practices, and a prediction of future uses and practices. You should also have a rudimentary plan for implementation, including a timeline, cost, and infrastructure changes that will need to be done. Your projections should be for up to the next 50 years.

5. Meaningful Participation in the final discussion of all the plans presented and help in coming up with a final plan to present to the Minister of Energy. You need to be able to discuss the pros and cons without bias, to share information, to take criticism, and to discuss the big picture beyond just your research.

6. Individually analyze and reflect your plan and your thoughts.

Colloquium Presentation
  1. Approximately 5-10 minute presentation with all three experts taking a part of the presentation.
  2. You may present in the form of a discussion or use some form of technology to convey your key points and/or pictures, diagrams, etc. Send your presentation to the Minister of Education for further review.
  3. Your presentation should convey the most important facts of your research:
a. Past history and use of the energy source.
b. Current uses and practices.
c. Pros and cons of the use of this energy source.
d. A prediction of future uses and practices.
e. A rudimentary plan for implementation for the next 50 years.

Colloquium (Group Discussion)
  1. In the group discussion of all the blue ribbon panels, a consensus will need to be formed and a coherent plan would need to be developed. As a group, we need to evaluate and compare/contrast all the energy sources presented.
  2. Questions to consider for the discussion:
a. Would there be one or more energies in the final overall plan?
b. Is the energy:
1) Sustainable?
2) Renewable?
3) Easy to use, store, and capture?
4) Ease of implementation (a change in infrastructure)?
5) Availability?
6) Meet the needs of consumers?
7) Environmental impact? Pollution?
8) Cost?

  1. Energy Sources Worksheet. (10 points) - done
  2. Online discussions within your group. Constructive comments to other online groups. The Minister of Energy will participate and guide you in your research and online discussions. (30 points) - in progress (for guidelines, see checklist)
  3. Colloquium Presentation (submit your presentation to the Minister of Education). (15 points)
  4. Meaningful Participation of the panelist in his/her Colloquium Presentation. (20 points)
  5. Colloquium Presentation Rubric – each panelist will assess each presentation. (10 points)
  6. Colloquium Presentation Rubric – the Minister of Energy will assess each presentation. (25 points)
  7. Meaningful Participation in the Colloquium Group Discussion. (30 points)
  8. Individual Analysis/Reflection. (20 points)