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Energy flows
http://www.need.org/files/curriculum/guides/Energy%20Flows.pdf

NEED Project - Putting Energy into Education

This activity introduces students to different forms of energy, energy transformations, energy storage, and the flow of energy through systems. Students learn that most energy can be traced back to nuclear fusion on the sun.

Activity takes one to two 45-minute class periods. Additional materials necessary.

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Topics

Global Energy Balance
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Carbon Cycle
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Solar Radiation
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Fossil Fuels
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Energy Infrastructure
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Grade Level

Middle (6-8)
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Activity is written for middle school students, but can be modified for younger high school students or high school inclusion/special education class.

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Sunlight reaching the Earth can heat the land, ocean, and atmosphere. Some of that sunlight is reflected back to space by the surface, clouds, or ice. Much of the sunlight that reaches Earth is absorbed and warms the planet.
About Teaching Principle 1
Other materials addressing 1a
The abundance of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is controlled by biogeochemical cycles that continually move these components between their ocean, land, life, and atmosphere reservoirs. The abundance of carbon in the atmosphere is reduced through seafloor accumulation of marine sediments and accumulation of plant biomass and is increased through deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels as well as through other processes.
About Teaching Principle 2
Other materials addressing 2d

Energy Literacy

Energy comes in different forms and can be divided into categories.
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1.5 Forms of energy.
Sunlight, gravitational potential, decay of radioactive isotopes, and rotation of the Earth are the major sources of energy driving physical processes on Earth.
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2.2 Sources of energy on Earth.
Water plays a major role in the storage and transfer of energy in the Earth system.
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2.4 Water stores and transfers energy.
Movement of matter between reservoirs is driven by Earth's internal and external sources of energy.
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2.5 Energy moves between reservoirs.

Excellence in Environmental Education Guidelines

2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.1 The Earth as a Physical System:B) Changes in matter
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B) Changes in matter.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.1 The Earth as a Physical System:C) Energy
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C) Energy.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.2 The Living Environment:C) Systems and connections
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C) Systems and connections.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.2 The Living Environment:D) Flow of matter and energy
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D) Flow of matter and energy.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.4 Environment and Society:A) Human/environment interactions
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A) Human/environment interactions.

Benchmarks for Science Literacy
Learn more about the Benchmarks

Light and other electromagnetic waves can warm objects. How much an object's temperature increases depends on how intense the light striking its surface is, how long the light shines on the object, and how much of the light is absorbed.
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Energy from the sun (and the wind and water energy derived from it) is available indefinitely. Because the transfer of energy from these resources is weak and variable, systems are needed to collect and concentrate the energy.
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Some resources are not renewable or renew very slowly. Fuels already accumulated in the earth, for instance, will become more difficult to obtain as the most readily available resources run out. How long the resources will last, however, is difficult to predict. The ultimate limit may be the prohibitive cost of obtaining them.
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Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • The card activity can be done kinesthetically or also in small groups at a desk or table. The order of the cards should reflect real-world connections.
  • Coal fired power plants are not the only source of electricity generation in the U.S. (only 50-60%); find out what the primary source of electricity generation is your state or county and modify the activity.

About the Science

  • Students learn about forms of potential and kinetic energy, differentiate between energy flows in a battery-powered flashlight and a hand-generated flashlight, learn about the energy transformations in fusion, photosynthesis, coal formation, and a coal-fired power plant, and learn about the similarities between the formation of fossil fuels.
  • The content and connections are simplified but correct.

About the Pedagogy

  • Excellent visual materials that can be used with great success with students who are English language learners and also in special education or collaborative/inclusion classrooms.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Clear, well-written, easy-to-follow instructions for educator.
  • Handouts and copies of transparencies are provided and are ready to be used.

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