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Scientifically and pedagogically reviewed digital resources for teaching about climate science, climate change, and energy awareness


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Energy 101: Geothermal Heat Pumps

This introductory video describes the basic principles of residential geothermal heat pumps.

Biofuels Video

This video provides an overview of the research of the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) on converting biomass to liquid fuels.

Selecting Sites for Renewable Energy Projects

In this activity, students use Google Earth to investigate a variety of renewable energy sources and select sites within the United States that would be appropriate for projects based on those ...

Life Cycle Assessment of Biofuels 101

In this activity, students conduct a life cycle assessment of energy used and produced in ethanol production, and a life cycle assessment of carbon dioxide used and produced in ethanol production.

Fermentation Challenge: Making Ethanol from Cellulose

This hands-on activity introduces students to the process of fermenting different carbohydrate sources into ethanol. Teachers demonstrate yeasts’ inability to metabolize certain food sources.

Fermentation in a Bag

This is a hands-on inquiry activity using zip-lock plastic bags that allows students to observe the process of fermentation and the challenge of producing ethanol from cellulosic sources. Students ...

Bioprospecting for cellulose-degrading microbes

This is a long-term inquiry activity in which students investigate locations they believe harbor cellulose-digesting microbes, collect samples, isolate them on selective media, and screen them for ...

Biofuels/Biomass Cellulose Lab

In this lab activity, students investigate how to prepare a biofuel source for conversion to a combustible product. The activity models how raw materials are refined to process liquid fuels.

Great Energy Debate

This is a debate-style learning activity in which student teams learn about energy sources and are then assigned to represent the different energy sources. Working cooperatively, students develop ...

Renewables Roundup - Earth: The Operators' Manual

This video segment explores whether, in principle, renewable energy resources could meet today's global energy needs of about 15.7 terawatts.

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