Students from Tracy High School recently visited the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLN) in California to learn more about the carbon-cycle by entering a contest that required them to use a computer simulation tool showing the challenges of energy demand in the future.
The online simulation, seen in the image below, works like a game where users chose a variety of energy production options, such as natural gas, coal, nuclear, wind, solar or biomass, to meet the electricity demands of a given year.
The goal of the game is to stay within an allotted budget to produce enough energy each year, while keeping carbon pollution low. Meanwhile, as the years in the simulation progress, technology either advances or is set back as global temperatures continue to rise.
Brother and sister Seokho and Inyoung Hong were the first and second place winners of the contest, where, like golf, the students were trying to achieve the lowest score possible in regards to carbon pollution and energy use. Students competed in the program as part of an extension of an earlier project funded by the LLN where the students analyzed carbon dioxide levels in mustard leaves near their high school. Currently, the LLN simulation is available for anyone to play online.