I thought I was hot stuff when I bought my Hyundai Accent and its 32-miles-per-gallon fuel economy. Fuel Our Future Now envisions a world that scoffs at that level of efficiency. The U.S. Department of Energy, Discovery Education and the folks behind the automotive X Prize — designed to foster the development of cars that exceed 100 miles per gallon — have developed this site to get teachers and students thinking about alternative energy and fuel efficiency.
FOFN has videos, lesson plans, games and activities geared toward kids in grades K-12. The elementary area focuses on what gets cars moving. Middle schoolers will find information about alternative fuels and energy efficiency, and high-school kids can put their knowledge to work by creating a plan to improve transportation in their area. Since FOFN is part of Discovery Education, you can watch videos like a Mythbusters clip about how electric cars aren’t as slow as people think. The teachers section will give you lesson plans and ideas on how driving behavior affects fuel efficiency, the effectiveness of mass transit, and many more resources designed to get students thinking of ways to reduce both fuel consumption and greenhouse gases.
You and your students can find a lot of good info at FOFN. Maybe it will inspire your students to design a fuel-saving engine themselves someday that will put the Prius, or at least my Hyundai Accent, to shame. -BILL FERRIS