Joe's Junkyard


Pretend that you live in the year 3000. Your group is a team of archaeologists who have been studying the very interesting time period of A.D. 2000-2050. You’ve just excavated a site that reveals a great deal about transportation during this time period. At this site, you’ve found dozens of old cars and car pieces. You’ve also found an old sign that says "Joe’s Junkyard, Established 2015." Therefore, you assume the oldest cars in this junkyard are from about the year 2000. You know that in 2050, a catastrophic earthquake leveled this part of town and all businesses ceased to operate. You can assume that cars in this junkyard are models from about 2000 to 2050. Your assignment is to present a report to the country’s leading archaeologists explaining the following things:

Questions for Thought

Use the Internet, the library, and any other relevant resources that you can find to answer the following questions:
  1. How do present-day internal-combustion car engines work?
  2. How is fuel processed in the engine in order to make the car operate?
  3. What can be done to increase a car’s fuel efficiency?
  4. What types of alternative energy sources are being developed for future cars?
  5. How do these energy sources power the car?
  6. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each type of energy source?
  7. Which energy sources seem most likely to be commonly used in cars of the future?
  8. What environmental, political, and cultural factors might contribute to a desire for cars with higher fuel efficiency or cars that use alternative energy sources?
  9. What factors might detract from creating cars with higher fuel efficiency or cars that use alternative energy sources?


Group Oral Report

Make an oral presentation to a panel of archaeologists (i.e., the rest of the class) describing the things that your team has found in Joe’s Junkyard and the conclusions you have reached concerning changes in automobile energy sources and attitudes toward energy use from 2000 to 2050. Your presentation should address the questions that you investigated and should include visual aids when appropriate (e.g. include diagrams of car engines that use different energy sources or charts showing the projected supply of fossil fuels or smog-reduction goals for a particular city).

Individual Informational Report

Provide an informational report that describes your team’s finding and your predictions for the ways in which energy sources and attitudes toward energy sources will have changed over the 50 year period from 2000-2050.


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Last updated 20 October 2016