Jump to this Video »
Geothermal: Taming the Fireball.
http://www.switchenergyproject.com/topics/geothermal

Switch Energy, American Geosciences Institute

This video is one of a series of videos from the Switch Energy project. It describes three types of geothermal sources -- rare ones in which high temperatures are naturally concentrated near the surface, deep wells that require fracturing the rock and then circulating water to bring heat to the surface, and low temperature sources that use constant temperatures just below the surface to heat or cool a building. The latter two are more widely available but cost-prohibitive today.

Video length is 1:49 min.

Discuss this Resource»
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.
Other materials addressing:
4.1 Humans transfer and transform energy.
Different sources of energy and the different ways energy can be transformed, transported and stored each have different benefits and drawbacks.
Other materials addressing:
4.7 Different sources of energy have different benefits and drawbacks.

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

  • Consider using the Switch Energy website http://www.switchenergyproject.com/about/the-project to have students do a research project on the pros and cons of different types of energy sources. Then, as a class they can create an energy portfolio.
  • The webpage contains links to both excerpts and complete versions of the various interviews undertaken in this project. Students could explore how the excerpts relate to the complete interview to determine whether the excerpts do reflect the opinions of the interviewees.

About the Science

  • The Switch Energy project does not advocate for one technology over another or suggest how the transition from one to another should happen. It tries to determine how the transition actually would happen, based on scientifically-sound investigation and the practical realities of the world of energy.
  • Discussion of geothermal heat pumps is misleading. Other resources do a better job of explaining heat pump operation.
  • Comments from expert scientist: Video includes data and information that might be out of date in a few years. Information comes from US Department of Energy and the International Energy Agency, both of which are credible sources.

About the Pedagogy

  • Currently no educational support materials on the Switch Energy website but expected late 2013

Technical Details/Ease of Use


Jump to this Video »



Have you used these materials with your students? Do you have insights to share with other educators about their use? Please share with the community by adding a comment below.

Please use this space only for discussion about teaching with these particular materials.
For more general discussion about teaching climate literacy please use our general discussion boards.
To report a problem or direct a comment to the CLEAN project team please use our feedback form (or the feedback link at the bottom of every page).
Off-topic posts will be deleted.

Join the Discussion


Log in to reply