Energy City Project – Authentic Learning Template

Research: Student groups will choose a city located on/near a fault line or located near an active volcano. They will take on the role of a City Planner or City Engineer and conduct research about the city’s geographical region, land features, and history of geologic events, so that they can create a new city plan and layout, in the case of a natural disaster.  Students will research tectonic plates and the formation of Earth’s land features, renewable and nonrenewable energy sources, and methods used by structural engineers to build safer buildings. Class notes will be organized in a project binder to submit at the end of the project.

Design: Student groups will use the knowledge gained from the research phase to design a new city layout, including the use of “green” energy resources to provide power to the community and giving suggestions for how to provide more safety in buildings located near a volcano or earthquake. A Weebly website will house student research and their proposal for the new city plan. Students will construct a model of the city to showcase their ideas.

Presentation: Student groups will share Energy City models during a Gallery Walk. Product rubrics will be used to provide peer feedback. Weebly websites are shared with the class. Students will share their proposal and website via email with an engineer at SMU, and City Planner in California, and/or an engineer located in their city. Rubrics were created using

Reflection: The Collaboration Rubric from Buck Institute for Education will be collected during class to submit to the teacher after the close of the project.

Student Examples:


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