What's the Big Deal?

Who knew that a possible answer to Earth's energy resource problems was lurking deep beneath the ocean's surface? Part four of a six-part series introduces Earth Science pupils to methane hydrate, a waste product of methanogens. After groups research the topic and present their findings, they construct a methane hydrate model to show its unique structure.

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CCSS: Adaptable
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Instructional Ideas
  • Create a methane hydrate model of your own prior to construction of student models
  • Consider having computers with Internet access available during the group research portion of the lesson
Classroom Considerations
  • Prior knowledge of geometric shapes (pentagon) and chemical structures is helpful for completing all aspects of the lesson
  • Prepare materials for methane hydrate models in advance, taking into account your number of working groups
Pros
  • Lesson provides a more in-depth look at methanogens than generally found in life sciences materials for this level
  • All materials are provided in the teacher's guide, including detailed plans for building the models
  • Shows the pros and cons of obtaining and using the substance as an alternative energy source
Cons
  • None
Common Core