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Energy 101: Algae-to-fuels

Erin R. Pierce, U.S. Department of Energy

This video is from the Energy 101 video series. It explains the process for converting micro-algae into fuel and makes the case that algae-based biofuels hold enormous potential for helping reduce our dependence on imported oil.

Video length is 2:33 min.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Video supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 1 Disciplinary Core Idea
High School: 2 Disciplinary Core Ideas

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

  • The Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory found that 17 percent of the United States’ imported oil for transportation could be replaced with homegrown, algae-based biofuels.
  • This video gives a very basic review of the process of converting algae into biofuel and algae's potential for helping reduce our dependence on imported oil.
  • Comments from expert scientist: Video contains basic information without depth and could be used for younger K grades.

About the Pedagogy

  • Links to related articles on biofuels are supplied on the sidebar.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Video viewable online only in small and medium screen sizes.
  • 508 compliant; captions are provided during video for students to follow the transcript.

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Video supports:

Middle School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 1

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.

High School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 2

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-ETS1.A2:Humanity faces major global challenges today, such as the need for supplies of clean water and food or for energy sources that minimize pollution, which can be addressed through engineering. These global challenges also may have manifestations in local communities

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