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Smart Power Grid
http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/nsn11.sci.engin.systems.smartgrid/

WGBH Educational Foundation NOVA scienceNOW, Teachers' Domain

This video segment, adapted from NOVA scienceNOW, addresses how new technology can help monitor and modernize the infrastructure of the U.S. power grid, which is ill-equipped to handle our increasing demand for electricity. Video provides a great overview of how electricity is generated and how the grid works.

Video length: 5:05 minutes.

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Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

A combination of strategies is needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The most immediate strategy is conservation of oil, gas, and coal, which we rely on as fuels for most of our transportation, heating, cooling, agriculture, and electricity. Short-term strategies involve switching from carbon-intensive to renewable energy sources, which also requires building new infrastructure for alternative energy sources. Long-term strategies involve innovative research and a fundamental change in the way humans use energy.
About Teaching the Guiding Principle
Other materials addressing GPe

Energy Literacy

Humans transfer and transform energy from the environment into forms useful for human endeavors.
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4.1 Humans transfer and transform energy.
Electricity is usually generated in one of two ways.
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4.5 Electricity generation.
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Various sources of energy are used to power human activities .
One way to manage energy resources is through conservation.
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6.2 Conserving energy.
Amount of energy used can be calculated and monitored.
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6.8 Calculating and monitoring energy use.
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Human use of energy.

Benchmarks for Science Literacy
Learn more about the Benchmarks

Different ways of obtaining, transforming, and distributing energy have different environmental consequences.
Explore the map of concepts related to this benchmark

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

  • Video could be used in a discussion of how both non-renewable and renewable energy sources can feed into a "smart" grid.

About the Science

  • Video shows how new technology is creating a "smart" grid that allows utility companies to monitor power needs and respond quickly to distribute it more efficiently, prevent outages, or repair problems.
  • Comment from expert scientist: This is a very good resource to explain in general how a smart grid can work to Gr 6-12 students.

About the Pedagogy

  • Background essay, discussion questions, and a link to standards are included.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Closed-captioned text available.
  • Picture quality somewhat degraded when on full screen.

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