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America's Energy Future from the National Academies

National Academies of Sciences

This video from the U.S. National Academies summarizes the energy challenges the United States faces, the technological challenges, and the need for behavior and policy changes required to meet the challenge.

Video length: 5:42 min.

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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

About the Science

  • Good overview of the challenges and opportunities facing the United States in order to reduce carbon emissions and decarbonize society.
  • Glosses over some details such as the statement nuclear energy does not produce carbon emissions, which ignores carbon emissions involved with mining, refining, and transportation.
  • The video is emotionally loaded (especially with the dramatic music that is played during the clip). Its intent is to inspire awareness and change, not to teach science content.
  • Does not address the facts that we need a portfolio of energy sources not just nuclear and renewable energy.
  • Comments from expert scientist: The activity gives a fairly basic but comprehensive overview on the energy portfolio of the U.S. The video inserts facts and figures on the use of these energy technologies throughout the lesson. The credentials of the 3 hosts are given at the end of the lesson. Video is out-dated, and it doesn't mention fracking, which is a big topic today.

About the Pedagogy

  • Video may be used to stimulate discussion in classrooms but requires unpacking more details since the reality is not necessarily as rosy as it painted here.
  • Important to drill down more into the details of science content.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • A transcript of the video is available.

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