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From: Larry Sherer (mcoe_lcs@ACCESS-K12.org)
Date: Tue Dec 10 2002 - 13:27:25 EST

  • Next message: LMMD117@aol.com: "[Channel-talkenergy] Energy Pryamid"

            The age level you have might be a factor in what is an appropriate
    activity, but an instructional activity that might be helpful and is more
    sophisticated than the "oatmeal game" could go something like this...

            Give a group of students an amount of coins (like 100 pennies) to
    represent the energy accummulated by the green plant producers from
    sunlight. Then have an exchange between individual students from group #1 &
    students from group #2 who would represent the 1st level consumers. The
    exchange would be a percentage (like 50%) of the coins held by individuals
    in group #1. The comment would be that part of the original cache of coins
    were used up by the life processes of the group #1 individuals, so are not
    available to be passed on. Then engineer a similar exchange between
    individuals from group # 2 (1st level consumers) and individuals in a group
    #3 (2nd level consumers). Using the same percentage of transfer (50%) at
    each exchange for the same reason as before, group #3 should now be at 25%
    of the original coins (1 x 1/2 x 1/2 =.25). If this makes sense to
    students, note that the "rule of thumb" for energy transfer is actually
    about 10% per level. Have the students go through the comparison of a sun
    to corn plant to human food chain compared to a sun to corn to pig to human
    food chain in terms of human energy needs. By comparing the "wealth" in
    coins at each level, this would also give an excellent example of why there
    is a food/energy pyramid with the "lower levels" having more energy
    resources and would help explain why there are many mice and few owls in an

    Larry Sherer

    --On Tuesday, December 10, 2002, 9:50 AM -0700 Petersons
    <bikedoctor@citlink.net> wrote:

    > What is an energy pyramid? What age level will you be teaching?
    > I loved the race with oatmeal game. It taught that all of the oatmeal
    > (energy) was still in the system ( on the playground) but it was not all
    > useful. This will teach the loss of energy to heat and sound.
    > I also loved the episode where they showed a class hitting a huge drum
    > which caused soundwaves to knock an object off of a ledge. It went
    > from kinetic energy (swinging the mallet) to mechanical energy (hitting
    > the drum) to sound energy to mechanical energy (the object being pushed
    > off the ledge) to kinetic (object falling).
    > We did a unit observing the different energy transfers using the game
    > "Mouse Trap" I took some photos of how we labeled the game. It was fun.
    > Perhaps you could make a life size game. Ask me for the photos if you
    > want them.
    > Let us know what you do decide to do!
    > Miriam
    > ----- Original Message -----
    > From: LMMD117@aol.com
    > To: channel-talkenergy@learner.org
    > Sent: Sunday, December 08, 2002 3:29 PM
    > Subject: [Channel-talkenergy] Energy Pyramid
    > Hello workshop pals. I am looking for some ideas about teaching a lesson
    > on energy transfer through an energy pyramid. We have already made food
    > chains and food webs. I would appreciate some hands-on activities.
    > Thanks

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