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Energy Calculators

U.S. Energy Information Administration

This online calculator converts from one energy unit to another - from gallons to British thermal units (Btu), kilowatt/hours to megajoules, short tons to metric tons.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Simulation/Interactive supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 1 Cross Cutting Concept
High School: 3 Performance Expectations, 1 Disciplinary Core Idea, 2 Science and Engineering Practices

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

About the Science

  • This online calculator completes unit conversions for various energy sources including: coal, electricity, natural gas, crude oil, gasoline, diesel and heating oil, residential heating fuels, and for measuring energy in food (food calories versus energy calories).
  • Comment from expert scientist: Gives access to estimates for the energy density of fuels. The precision of the results is misleading in that each energy density is an estimate. For example, the energy density of coal varies by at least a factor of two depending on the rank/type. Unless the source for the conversion is very specific, the precision of the calculated results should reflect the precision of the conversion factor.

About the Pedagogy

  • This is a great tool when teaching about different units of energy and the energy produced by different resources.
  • It also has an excellent explanation of scientific notation.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Simulation/Interactive supports:

Middle School

Cross Cutting Concepts: 1

Energy and Matter

MS-C5.3:Energy may take different forms (e.g. energy in fields, thermal energy, energy of motion).

High School

Performance Expectations: 3

HS-ESS3-2: Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.

HS-ESS3-3: Create a computational simulation to illustrate the relationships among management of natural resources, the sustainability of human populations, and biodiversity.

HS-PS3-3: Design, build, and refine a device that works within given constraints to convert one form of energy into another form of energy

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 1

HS-ESS3.A2:All forms of energy production and other resource extraction have associated economic, social, environmental, and geopolitical costs and risks as well as benefits. New technologies and social regulations can change the balance of these factors.

Science and Engineering Practices: 2

Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking

HS-P5.3:Apply techniques of algebra and functions to represent and solve scientific and engineering problems.

HS-P5.5:Apply ratios, rates, percentages, and unit conversions in the context of complicated measurement problems involving quantities with derived or compound units (such as mg/mL, kg/m3, acre-feet, etc.).

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