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Teaching Energy Science

What is Energy Literacy?

According to the Energy Literacy Framework from the US Department of Energy, Energy Literacy is an understanding of the nature and role of energy in the universe and in our lives. Energy Literacy is also the ability to apply this understanding to answer questions and solve problems.

The Guide to Teaching Energy Science

The following energy literacy principles are found in the Energy Literacy Framework, and provide scaffolding for teaching the energy science. Each principle listed below links to a more detailed description of the topic, as well as a discussion of what makes the topic important, why it can be challenging to teach, suggestions for grade-level specific teaching strategies, and links to relevant teaching materials.

Energy Literacy Booklet cover Download the color booklet, Energy Literacy Framework by the Department of Energy

1. Energy is a physical quantity that follows precise natural laws.

2. Physical processes on Earth are the result of energy flow through the Earth system.

3. Biological processes depend on energy flow through the Earth system.

4. Various sources of energy can be used to power human activities, and often this energy must be transferred from source to destination.

5. Energy decisions are influenced by economic, political, environmental, and social factors.

6. The amount of energy used by human society depends on many factors.

7. The quality of life of individuals and societies is affected by energy choices.

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