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Photo via Unsplash

Author

Undecided with Matt Ferrell

Grades

9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College

Subjects

Science, Social Studies, Economics, History, Engineering

Resource Type

  • Videos, 12 minutes, 40 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus

Global

Format

YouTube Video

This Solar Powered Boat Could be the Future of Transportation

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Synopsis
  • This video traces the history and evolution of electric boats, including recent developments in solar-powered yachts and ferries. 
  • Students will learn that electric boats are silent, clean, lightweight, easy to maintain, and have low operational costs. However, downsides include higher initial costs and a shorter range compared to diesel-powered boats. 
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • The video does a good job of comparing the initial price and ongoing operational costs for diesel and electric boats.
  • The video uses diagrams to illustrate how solar panels are used to create electricity.

Additional Prerequisites

  • This video begins with an advertisement.
  • The video content ends at 11:20.
  • A link to the full transcript and sources can be found in the video description.

Differentiation

  • Science, math, or economics classes could have students come up with a graphical way to represent the price and operating costs of diesel and electric boats.
  • Science classes could research the solar-powered plastic collectors that were briefly mentioned in the video. Students could discuss how these devices could help and hurt the environment and ecosystems.
  • Other resources on this topic include this video and worksheet on renewable energy, this interactive chart on energy consumption by source, and this Khan Academy video on how solar energy works.
Scientist Notes
This resource is a 13-minute video that looks at the current and future potential for solar-powered boats, including ferries and yachts. Examples of existing solar-powered boats are shown, and a fair amount of this video is related to the relative costs of solar-powered versus diesel-powered boats. This resource is recommended for teaching.
Standards
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • HS-ETS1-1 Analyze a major global challenge to specify qualitative and quantitative criteria and constraints for solutions that account for societal needs and wants.
      • HS-ETS1-3 Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Economics
      • D2.Eco.1.9-12 Analyze how incentives influence choices that may result in policies with a range of costs and benefits for different groups.
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