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Geothermal: Taming the Fireball.

Switch Energy, American Geosciences Institute

This video is one of a series of videos from the Switch Energy project. It describes three types of geothermal sources -- rare ones in which high temperatures are naturally concentrated near the surface, deep wells that require fracturing the rock and then circulating water to bring heat to the surface, and low temperature sources that use constant temperatures just below the surface to heat or cool a building. The latter two are more widely available but cost-prohibitive today.

Video length is 1:49 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: 5 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 1 Cross Cutting Concept

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

  • Consider using the Switch Energy website http://www.switchenergyproject.com/about/the-project to have students do a research project on the pros and cons of different types of energy sources. Then, as a class they can create an energy portfolio.
  • The webpage contains links to both excerpts and complete versions of the various interviews undertaken in this project. Students could explore how the excerpts relate to the complete interview to determine whether the excerpts do reflect the opinions of the interviewees.

About the Science

  • The Switch Energy project does not advocate for one technology over another or suggest how the transition from one to another should happen. It tries to determine how the transition actually would happen, based on scientifically-sound investigation and the practical realities of the world of energy.
  • Discussion of geothermal heat pumps is misleading. Other resources do a better job of explaining heat pump operation.
  • Comments from expert scientist: Video includes data and information that might be out of date in a few years. Information comes from US Department of Energy and the International Energy Agency, both of which are credible sources.

About the Pedagogy

  • Currently no educational support materials on the Switch Energy website but expected late 2013

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Broadcast-quality video.
  • Video also available at http://vimeo.com/40102638
  • Teachers must create an account to access resources from this organization. Membership is free and the only information that needs to be provided is name, email, and a password.

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Video supports:

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