Topic Progress:

The Lesson Plan – Power Plants


Science – SC.6.P.11.1
Explore the Law of Conservation of Energy by differentiating between potential and kinetic energy. Identify situations where kinetic energy is transformed into potential energy and vice versa.

English Language Arts – LAFS.6.SL2
Cluster 2: Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas

Big Idea(s)

The Practice of Science

Essential Question

How do power plants benefit society?

Background Information

Power plants are industrial facilities that generate electrical power.  The types of power plants can include:

Steam Turbine: Known as a simple cycle design, traditionally power plants that burn fuel to release heat. Referred to as thermal power plants; uses coal and oil.

Gas Turbine: Natural gas plants that burn a steady stream of gas.

Combined Cycle Design: Plant that can use exhaust gases from a gas turbine plant and power a steam turbine. A combination of two plants which powers the other.

Nuclear: Working in the same way as a coal or oil plant in how power is created a nuclear plant will smash atoms apart to release heat energy instead of burning fuel.

Hydro: Use of vast amounts of water to power turbines.

Wind: Use of large wind turbines, usually propellers connected to a generator.

Solar: Use of photovoltaic panels.

Guiding Questions

  • What are the different types of power plants? 

  • Are all types of power plants necessary or can we just use one type of power plant to generate electrical power?

Math Mania

The power plants of today can convert about one-third of the energy stored in its fuels into electricity. As these conversions are taking place, most of the energy is transformed into heat rather than electricity. If one electric power plant is consuming 360 units of energy each, and every day.

How many units of electricity would the plant generate in a full week?

The correct response is 840 units

Fun Facts

Did you know…

  • If you live within 50 miles of a nuclear power plant then you are exposed to an average annual dose of 0.09 milligram per year, which is the same as eating 1.64 bananas?
  • As of 2018, the largest power stations in the world are all hydroelectric power stations?

Inquiry Type

  • Confirmation Inquiry

  • Guided Inquiry

  • PBL Class/Group Activity