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Energy Sources

WGBH Educational Foundation, Teachers' Domain

This short video surveys the different current and potential sources of energy - both non-renewable and renewable. It provides some discussion of the pros and cons of the different sources and explains how they are used to produce energy that people can use.

Video length 6:09 min.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Video supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 2 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 2 Cross Cutting Concepts
High School: 7 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 3 Cross Cutting Concepts

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

About Teaching the Guiding Principle
Other materials addressing GPe

Energy Literacy

Other materials addressing:
7.3 Environmental quality.
Other materials addressing:
1.2 Thermal energy.
Other materials addressing:
4.1 Humans transfer and transform energy.
Other materials addressing:
4.7 Different sources of energy have different benefits and drawbacks.
Other materials addressing:
6.2 Conserving energy.

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

  • Educators will want to tie this video into a discussion about the changing mix of energy sources in the US.

About the Science

  • Video characterizes hydrogen as an energy source, but it can also be described as an energy store/carrier.
  • Good explanation of how electricity is produced by using different methods and fuel sources.
  • Comments from expert scientist: A good overview with strong visuals. Corrections: 1) Hydrogen is not an energy source. It is an energy currency. 2) Better to use the term wind turbines not wind-mills. 3) Pictures of solar thermal were shown while discussing PV. 4) Mention is made of bird kills by windmills. Should also mention that cars, collisions with buildings, and house cats kill many more birds. Would be nice to mention linkage between population growth and energy demand.

About the Pedagogy

  • Background essay and discussion questions are available on the webpage.
  • This is mostly a "just the facts" kind of presentation, with few opportunities for substantive inquiry or discussion. The provided questions assess only comprehension of the video content.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • The full screen image is a little pixelated and not of sufficient quality for classroom projection. A higher resolution version can be downloaded.
  • The video images and animations are useful.

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Video supports:

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