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Texas: Wind and Efficiency - Earth: The Operators' Manual

Geoff Haines-Stiles Productions, Earth: Operators' Manual

This engaging video focuses on national and global wind energy potential by specifically highlighting Texas' role as wind energy leader and energy efficiency efforts in Houston, Texas.

Video length: 8:20 min.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Video supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 4 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 2 Cross Cutting Concepts
High School: 7 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 2 Cross Cutting Concepts

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 engaging video could be used to kick off a module about wind energy.
  • This video segment that follows this one (segment 10) is also relevant to facilitate a discussion on renewable energy.
  • See: http://earththeoperatorsmanual.com/for_educators for the full program.

About the Science

  • The statement that,"energy efficiency worldwide could reduce demand by fully one third by 2030" is debatable. Some experts say that long-term energy demand actually increases with increased energy efficiency because energy efficient devices have more applications. This is a debated topic, and this New Yorker essay gives a helpful summary.
  • Numbers given are not cited, but scientist Richard Alley is a reputable and well-known leader in climate science.
  • Discusses pros and cons of wind energy (emphasizing pros) and the need for continued research into renewables and energy efficient technology.
  • The 2030 energy portfolio proposed is overly ambitious and would require an unlikely build-out of renewable energy infrastructure and technological development.
  • 2016 update: renewable energy is scaling up rapidly. Educators are advised to seek up-to-date information and present current statistics and projections along with this video.
  • Comments from expert scientist: Good overview and outlook. No major problems.

About the Pedagogy

  • The host, Richard Alley, is a well-known climate scientist and models exemplary skills in communicating complex information to a wide audience.
  • Shows how wind is a potential energy resource in West Texas, which sits at the southern end of the US wind corridor.
  • Talks about how "green energy" translates to economic gains for some stakeholders in communities.
  • An annotated script, learning objectives, vocabulary, and teaching tips are provided.
  • Learning activities are suggested, including one that is in the CLEAN collection.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • 508 compliant (closed-captioned text)
  • Technically well done and of high quality

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Video supports:

Middle School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 4

MS-ESS3.A1:Humans depend on Earth’s land, ocean, atmosphere, and biosphere for many different resources. Minerals, fresh water, and biosphere resources are limited, and many are not renewable or replaceable over human lifetimes. These resources are distributed unevenly around the planet as a result of past geologic processes.

MS-PS3.A1:Motion energy is properly called kinetic energy; it is proportional to the mass of the moving object and grows with the square of its speed.

MS-PS3.A2:A system of objects may also contain stored (potential) energy, depending on their relative positions.

MS-PS3.B1:When the motion energy of an object changes, there is inevitably some other change in energy at the same time.

Cross Cutting Concepts: 2

Energy and Matter

MS-C5.2: Within a natural or designed system, the transfer of energy drives the motion and/or cycling of matter.

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

High School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 7

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.

HS-PS3.A1:Energy is a quantitative property of a system that depends on the motion and interactions of matter and radiation within that system. That there is a single quantity called energy is due to the fact that a system’s total energy is conserved, even as, within the system, energy is continually transferred from one object to another and between its various possible forms.

HS-PS3.A2:At the macroscopic scale, energy manifests itself in multiple ways, such as in motion, sound, light, and thermal energy.

HS-PS3.B2:Energy cannot be created or destroyed, but it can be transported from one place to another and transferred between systems

HS-PS3.B3:Mathematical expressions, which quantify how the stored energy in a system depends on its configuration (e.g. relative positions of charged particles, compression of a spring) and how kinetic energy depends on mass and speed, allow the concept of conservation of energy to be used to predict and describe system behavior.

HS-PS3.B4:The availability of energy limits what can occur in any system.

HS-PS3.D1:Although energy cannot be destroyed, it can be converted to less useful forms—for example, to thermal energy in the surrounding environment.

Cross Cutting Concepts: 2

Energy and Matter

HS-C5.2:Changes of energy and matter in a system can be described in terms of energy and matter flows into, out of, and within that system.

HS-C5.3:Energy cannot be created or destroyed—only moves between one place and another place, between objects and/or fields, or between systems.

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