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Energy Issues: What you need to know

Switch energy, Bureau of Economic Geology at University of Texas / State of Texas

These five short videos are an introduction to the pros and cons of energy issues, including cost, choices, efficiency, environmental impact, and scale. The videos are segments of a feature documentary entitled, Switch: Discover the Future of Energy.

Videos are about 2 min long each.

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: 5 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

  • Consider using the Switch website 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.
  • Several related educational materials available in the CLEAN collection https://cleanet.org/clean/educational_resources/index.html.

About the Science

  • Videos provide a basic introduction to some of the key issues concerning energy choices and uses.
  • Dr. Scott Tinker, Director of the Bureau of Economic Geology and the State Geologist of Texas, narrate the documentary.
  • Comments from expert scientist:
    Scientific strengths:
    The videos in this resource provide a valid introduction to energy-related issues and stimulate interest in getting to know more about renewable energy sources.
    No deep scientific knowledge is presented, so this should only be used as (valid) introduction.

About the Pedagogy

  • Videos could be viewed in sequence as presented, or each as a stand-alone.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Video offered in high definition and in a variety of sizes for viewing ease.
  • A trailer to the full length documentary is available on Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/channels/303773.

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: 5

HS-ESS3.A1:Resource availability has guided the development of human society.

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

HS-ETS1.B1:When evaluating solutions, it is important to take into account a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, and to consider social, cultural, and environmental impacts.

HS-ETS1.C1:Criteria may need to be broken down into simpler ones that can be approached systematically, and decisions about the priority of certain criteria over others (trade-offs) may be needed

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