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Energy Consumption Rates across the USA and the World
https://serc.carleton.edu/sp/library/google_earth/examples/energy.html

Glenn A. Richard, SERC - Pedagogy in Action Collection

Students use Google Earth to analyze oil consumption per capita in the US and around the world. Students then use spreadsheets to create graphs and calculate statistics regarding per capita energy use among various categories.

Activity takes about two class periods but may take longer depending on teaching strategies.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Activity supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
High School: 2 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 3 Cross Cutting Concepts, 6 Science and Engineering Practices

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

About Teaching the Guiding Principle
Other materials addressing GPe
Humans can take action
About Teaching Climate Literacy
Other materials addressing Humans can take action

Energy Literacy

Other materials addressing:
6.3 Demand for energy is increasing.
Other materials addressing:
6.8 Calculating and monitoring energy use.

Excellence in Environmental Education Guidelines

1. Questioning, Analysis and Interpretation Skills:C) Collecting information
Other materials addressing:
C) Collecting information.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.3 Humans and Their Societies:B) Culture
Other materials addressing:
B) Culture.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.3 Humans and Their Societies:C) Political and economic systems
Other materials addressing:
C) Political and economic systems.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.3 Humans and Their Societies:D) Global Connections
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D) Global Connections.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.3 Humans and Their Societies:E) Change and conflict
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E) Change and conflict.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.4 Environment and Society:B) Places
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B) Places.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.4 Environment and Society:D) Technology
Other materials addressing:
D) Technology.

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

  • There are underlying assumptions and contributing reasons for varying energy use around the world. The students may need some explanations and clarifications.
  • Activity needs a grading rubric.
  • Flexible teaching and learning strategies applicable.
  • Students will ideally have some prior knowledge/experience with Google Earth.
  • Additional background information available from Energy Information Administration http://www.eia.doe.gov.
  • Comment from expert scientist: Data on the sites that are linked in this activity should be checked for timeliness by the educator.

About the Science

  • Many approaches are used in the activity to examine the data such as globes, maps, tables, and spreadsheets.

About the Pedagogy

  • Very well-structured worksheet for students with all of the links to data embedded.
  • Students examine, compare, and interpret data.
  • Activity meets the needs of visual learners with engaging and motivating images.
  • Educator's guide is extensive and offers suggestions for scaffolding of prerequisite technological knowledge.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • All materials are printable, editable, and available online.

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Activity supports:


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