Earth: The Operators' Manual
Video length 4:00 min.Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»
See how this Video supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 4 Disciplinary Core Ideas
High School: 10 Disciplinary Core Ideas
About Teaching Climate Literacy
7.5 Access to energy affects quality of life.
4.1 Humans transfer and transform energy.
4.7 Different sources of energy have different benefits and drawbacks.
5.6 Environmental factors.
6.3 Demand for energy is increasing.
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About the Science
- Video features China's efforts to develop clean energy technologies and carbon sequestration.
- Comments from expert scientist: Figures are scientifically correct, but are out-of-date. There are no references.
About the Pedagogy
- This is one of several short segments from Earth: The Operators' Manual.
- Annotated script of video is available on the site.
Next Generation Science Standards See how this Video supports:
Disciplinary Core Ideas: 4
MS-PS3.A4:The term “heat” as used in everyday language refers both to thermal energy (the motion of atoms or molecules within a substance) and the transfer of that thermal energy from one object to another. In science, heat is used only for this second meaning; it refers to the energy transferred due to the temperature difference between two objects.
MS-PS3.A5:The temperature of a system is proportional to the average internal kinetic energy and potential energy per atom or molecule (whichever is the appropriate building block for the system’s material). The details of that relationship depend on the type of atom or molecule and the interactions among the atoms in the material. Temperature is not a direct measure of a system's total thermal energy. The total thermal energy (sometimes called the total internal energy) of a system depends jointly on the temperature, the total number of atoms in the system, and the state of the material.
MS-ESS3.A1:Humans depend on Earth’s land, ocean, atmosphere, and biosphere for many different resources. Minerals, fresh water, and biosphere resources are limited, and many are not renewable or replaceable over human lifetimes. These resources are distributed unevenly around the planet as a result of past geologic processes.
MS-ESS3.D1:Human activities, such as the release of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels, are major factors in the current rise in Earth’s mean surface temperature (global warming). Reducing the level of climate change and reducing human vulnerability to whatever climate changes do occur depend on the understanding of climate science, engineering capabilities, and other kinds of knowledge, such as understanding of human behavior and on applying that knowledge wisely in decisions and activities.
Disciplinary Core Ideas: 10
HS-PS3.A2:At the macroscopic scale, energy manifests itself in multiple ways, such as in motion, sound, light, and thermal energy.
HS-PS3.A3:These relationships are better understood at the microscopic scale, at which all of the different manifestations of energy can be modeled as a combination of energy associated with the motion of particles and energy associated with the configuration (relative position of the particles). In some cases the relative position energy can be thought of as stored in fields (which mediate interactions between particles). This last concept includes radiation, a phenomenon in which energy stored in fields moves across space.
HS-PS3.D1:Although energy cannot be destroyed, it can be converted to less useful forms—for example, to thermal energy in the surrounding environment.
HS-PS3.D3:Solar cells are human-made devices that likewise capture the sun’s energy and produce electrical energy.
HS-PS4.B1:Electromagnetic radiation (e.g., radio, microwaves, light) can be modeled as a wave of changing electric and magnetic fields or as particles called photons. The wave model is useful for explaining many features of electromagnetic radiation, and the particle model explains other features.
HS-PS4.B3:Photoelectric materials emit electrons when they absorb light of a high-enough frequency
HS-ESS3.A1:Resource availability has guided the development of human society.
HS-ESS3.A2:All forms of energy production and other resource extraction have associated economic, social, environmental, and geopolitical costs and risks as well as benefits. New technologies and social regulations can change the balance of these factors.
HS-ETS1.A1:Criteria and constraints also include satisfying any requirements set by society, such as taking issues of risk mitigation into account, and they should be quantified to the extent possible and stated in such a way that one can tell if a given design meets them.
HS-ETS1.A2:Humanity faces major global challenges today, such as the need for supplies of clean water and food or for energy sources that minimize pollution, which can be addressed through engineering. These global challenges also may have manifestations in local communities