Photosynthesis PBL – Part II

About 4 weeks ago, I introduced my Photosynthesis PBL problem to my students. The description of the project that I gave them is as follows:

Photosynthesis PBL – Alternative Energy Resource For Residential Establishments

There are many people in this country who live “off the grid”. “Off the grid” living is becoming a popular choice for people looking to reduce their carbon footprint, assert their independence, and avoid reliance on and abuse of fossil fuel usage. “The Grid” refers to the power grid, which is a system that delivers electricity directly to your house from the source. Power is supplied to homes in the form of electricity, natural gas, water, and telephone lines.

One-way to off-set power needs is to use solar power and convert that into energy. Solar panels are becoming a popular means to capture light and turning it into usable energy through photovoltaics. The problem with photovoltaics is that you cannot store the energy for long periods of time and the batteries used to temporarily store the excess energy are expensive and inefficient. Not to mention that if there are long periods of time without exposure to sunlight, your energy stores will become depleted.

Your company has come up with a solution to Photovoltaics. You are tasked with designing a structure that will recycle the excess CO2 in homes and turn that CO2 usable energy for the home. This structure will function much like a chloroplast in that it will take CO2 and H20 and repurpose those materials into usable energy that can be continuously supplied to the home for power.

Your proposal (< 2 pages, including figures) must include a description of the following:

(1) The structures used and how they correlate with structures within a chloroplast

(2) Diagrams and figures that will show relationship between energy recourses used before implementation of this device and after implementation

(3) A descriptive paper explaining the process, in detail, of how the structure works

(4) A physical model of said structure

The students did a PHENOMENAL job with this project. I am including a few pictures of the physical models that they created. I also allowed them to created 3D computer models on a software like “TinkerCad” if they so chose. Again, as with every PBL I have ever assigned, the outcomes were more than I could have ever hoped for. These kids amaze me with their knowledge and creativity and I truly believe it has everything to do with the process of project based learning and the freedom to create whatever they want as a result of their research.

Extreme Green Machine
Effective system consisting of three parts: direct air capture mechanism, the panel, and the photoswitch
Photovoltaic partnership
The use of photovoltaic cells will power the combustion of methane compounds to create energy
Chlorophyll Roof
Extract excessive leaf chloroplasts and isolate the Chlorophyll a & b to create an energy capturing system on the roof of the home
"we propose a structure that will use CO2 & H20 from the atmosphere and convert the 2 compounds into hydrocarbons which will be combusted for energy. This will be accomplished using the liquid catalyst, Salt of Copper"
“we propose a structure that will use CO2 & H20 from the atmosphere and convert the 2 compounds into hydrocarbons which will be combusted for energy. This will be accomplished using the liquid catalyst, Salt of Copper”
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