Module 19 : Is Hydrogen a Solution?
In Is Hydrogen a Solution?, students explore the possibilities of using hydrogen to meet some of our energy needs. Students take on the role of researchers at NuEnergy, a venture capital firm specializing in renewable energy. The firm has asked the researchers to work in Hydrogen Technology Research teams to consider several start-up companies that are looking into or already implementing hydrogen energy technologies. Research teams will recommend which company or companies NuEnergy should invest in. To gain the knowledge needed to make this recommendation, students learn what hydrogen is and what obstacles currently prevent us from using hydrogen as a fuel on a large scale. They conduct research and scientific investigations to learn how hydrogen gas is produced, how it can be stored, and how fuel cells extract energy from hydrogen. As students experiment, research, and explore, they learn about several fundamental concepts in chemistry: the chemical and physical properties of compounds, how substances change during chemical reactions, and the properties of gases at different temperatures and pressures.
At the end of the module, each student team makes its decision about investing in the start-ups. Teams present their recommendations to their classmates and describe the science and the reasoning behind their recommendations.