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The United States of Energy

United States of Energy

This series of informative graphics provide a regional overview of US energy resources.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Animation supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
High School: 2 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 1 Science and Engineering Practice

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

Energy Literacy

Humans transfer and transform energy from the environment into forms useful for human endeavors.
Other materials addressing:
4.1 Humans transfer and transform energy.
Electricity is usually generated in one of two ways.
Other materials addressing:
4.5 Electricity generation.
Different sources of energy and the different ways energy can be transformed, transported and stored each have different benefits and drawbacks.
Other materials addressing:
4.7 Different sources of energy have different benefits and drawbacks.
Human demand for energy is increasing.
Other materials addressing:
6.3 Demand for energy is increasing.
Amount of energy used can be calculated and monitored.
Other materials addressing:
6.8 Calculating and monitoring energy use.

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

  • Probably best used as an introduction to fuels and energy usage.
  • There are a lot of graphics presented in a long list. The map of the United States regional energy resources is the most useful to use in energy-related activities.

About the Science

  • This series of visualizations shows a breakdown of energy sources by state, type, change over time, usage, and source. It gives a good overview of how energy use has risen since 1949 in the US, how more energy is now imported since 1956 than produced, and how different states create and source their energy.
  • Visualization may be outdated - this is from 2011, and much has changed, particularly in the renewable sector and natural gas.
  • Comments from expert scientist:
    Scientific strengths:
    The resource provides a really neat summary of the energy portfolio for every State. Data are detailed and the aesthetic of the visualization format is outstanding.
    Is nuclear a really 'clean' energy as stated in one of the plots in the resource? This is true if considering carbon emissions only.
    Some of the data in the version 1 of the resource are 15 years old. Data used in the version 2 are more recent.

About the Pedagogy

  • A good way to introduce use of fuels and energy sources in the US.
  • Visually appealing.
  • Does contain a lot of graphics and basic information.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Good visuals, easy to scroll through the data, which appears and hides as the visual moves. The beginning focuses only on the Great Plains/Rockies area, then Oklahoma, and then broadens out to the greater US.
  • Graphics are clear and effective in displaying information.

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Animation supports:

High School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 2

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.

Science and Engineering Practices: 1

Analyzing and Interpreting Data

HS-P4.1:Analyze data using tools, technologies, and/or models (e.g., computational, mathematical) in order to make valid and reliable scientific claims or determine an optimal design solution.

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