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Fracking: How dirty a word?

Switch Energy, American Geosciences Institute

This video is one of a series from the Switch Energy project. It presents pros and cons of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. In this video, new fracking technologies are presented as more economical and environmentally safe.

Video length is 2:01 min.

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Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

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Humans can take action
About Teaching Climate Literacy
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Energy Literacy

Environmental quality is impacted by energy choices.
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7.3 Environmental quality.
Different sources of energy and the different ways energy can be transformed, transported and stored each have different benefits and drawbacks.
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4.7 Different sources of energy have different benefits and drawbacks.
Energy decisions are influenced by economic factors.
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5.4 Economic factors.
Energy decisions are influenced by environmental factors.
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5.6 Environmental factors.

Benchmarks for Science Literacy
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The global environment is affected by national and international policies and practices relating to energy use, waste disposal, ecological management, manufacturing, and population.
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Different ways of obtaining, transforming, and distributing energy have different environmental consequences.
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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

  • This website has great potential for research projects for students.
  • Consider using the Switch website 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.

About the Science

  • Fracking is a 50-year old practice that uses high-pressure water to break up rock layers and release trapped oil or gas. It has opened up huge new energy reserves, but some citizens and environmental groups are worried that chemicals introduced into the water during the fracturing process will contaminate aquifers. The EPA has investigated many claims but has yet to confirm one.
  • Hydraulic fracturing is producing unconventional gas in places where it was not possible in the past, thus, the name for unconventional gas.
  • The viewer is reminded that natural gas is a greenhouse gas on its own, but when burned to produce energy, it produces only 1/2 of the CO2 emissions produced by burning coal.
  • Passed initial science review - expert science review pending.

About the Pedagogy

  • Future lessons to accompany these videos are planned for this website.
  • This website has great potential for research projects for students.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Video is easily used and accessible.
  • Additional energy materials are on the site (Un-reviewed).

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