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Fracking: How dirty a word?

Switch Energy, American Geosciences Institute

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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.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

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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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