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Turning Waste Into Energy
http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/resource/kqedcl11.sci.ess.turningwasteintoenergy/turning-waste-into-energy/

PBS Learning Media

This video discusses how methane digesters turn waste from dairy cows, food garbage, and other organic matter into usable gases and other fuels.

Video length is 7:01 min.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

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

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emission (energy conservation, renewable energies, change in energy use)
About Teaching the Guiding Principle
Other materials addressing GPe
Actions taken by different levels of society can mitigate climate change and increase preparedness for current and future generations
About Teaching the Guiding Principle
Other materials addressing GPg

Energy Literacy

Energy decisions can be made using a systems-based approach.
Other materials addressing:
5.3 Systems-based approach.
Energy decisions are influenced by economic factors.
Other materials addressing:
5.4 Economic factors.
Energy decisions are influenced by environmental factors.
Other materials addressing:
5.6 Environmental factors.

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

About the Science

  • The video describes the Biogas Energy Project at University of California-Davis, and its impact on both energy and waste management.
  • Comments from expert scientist: This resource provides an entertaining and age-appropriate video discussion of production of energy by composting and anaerobic digestion. The material is presented using several examples that are engaging and has good use of visual production design. In addition to the video, supplementary material is provided, such as curriculum guides for teachers and a list of how the material relates to national science standards for education.

About the Pedagogy

  • Shows the connection between food consumption and waste management.
  • The following documents are provided on the site: Turning Waste Into Energy: Lesson Plan, Renewable Energy: Educator Guide, Renewable Energy: Background Article, Clue into Climate Student Workbook, and Getting Started: A Guide to Using the Curriculum
  • Comments from expert scientist: This resource is designed for middle and high school students but it would also be suitable for adult introductory courses on energy efficiency and animal waste management.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Image is slightly pixilated when used in full-screen mode.

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Video supports:

Middle School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 2

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-ESS3.D1:Human activities, such as the release of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels, are major factors in the current rise in Earth’s mean surface temperature (global warming). Reducing the level of climate change and reducing human vulnerability to whatever climate changes do occur depend on the understanding of climate science, engineering capabilities, and other kinds of knowledge, such as understanding of human behavior and on applying that knowledge wisely in decisions and activities.

High School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 7

HS-ESS2.D1:The foundation for Earth’s global climate systems is the electromagnetic radiation from the sun, as well as its reflection, absorption, storage, and redistribution among the atmosphere, ocean, and land systems, and this energy’s re-radiation into space.

HS-ESS2.D3:Changes in the atmosphere due to human activity have increased carbon dioxide concentrations and thus affect climate.

HS-ESS2.D4:Current models predict that, although future regional climate changes will be complex and varied, average global temperatures will continue to rise. The outcomes predicted by global climate models strongly depend on the amounts of human-generated greenhouse gases added to the atmosphere each year and by the ways in which these gases are absorbed by the ocean and biosphere.

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.


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