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Recommended Resources for Teaching about Energy

If you would like to add to this collection, please tell us about references you find useful for teaching.

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For a comprehensive listing of all SERC materials for teaching about energy, see the Energy Site Guide

General Resources

U.S. Energy Information Administration
This is the go-to source for information about energy sources and supplies, energy data, international, national and statewide energy statistics, and energy projections. The Energy Kids section of the site contains summaries, graphics, activities and a section for educators.

Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN)

The CLEAN project, a part of the National Science Digital Library, provides a reviewed collection of resources coupled with the tools to enable an online community to share and discuss teaching about climate and energy science.

Go to http://cleanet.org/clean/literacy/energy_lit.html
Teaching Energy Literacy

This is a teacher's guide to the 2012 Energy Literacy principles released by the US Department of Energy. The energy literacy principles address energy as a physical quantity, energy in physical and biological systems, sources of energy, energy decisions, use of energy, and the effects of energy use on quality of life. These pages offer summaries of each principle, possible challenges for educators, suggested pedagogic approaches for each grade level and relevant teaching materials from the CLEAN reviewed collection.
What you Need to Know About Energy by the National Academies
This website contains straightforward information, excellent interactive graphics and a comprehensive reference list. Topics include energy sources, how we use energy, the cost of energy, efficiency and more. A short energy quiz can be used as a student warm-up activity prior to class or lab. This site would be useful for student research in introductory courses, and the interactive graphics would make useful additions to lectures.

Earth: The Operators' Manual

This extensive website is the companion to Richard Alley's PBS TV program. The site covers the topics of climate change and sustainable energy, and explores the ways in which these two topics are linked. A large section of the site is for educators and contains video clips, teaching objectives, teacher tips, suggested activities, and educational standards.

Energy Innovations
From NASA's Global Climate Change portal, this is a compilation of recent research about promising energy technologies.

The Sustainability Education & Economic Development Center (SEED)
This website is geared toward teaching about sustainability, renewable energy and energy efficiency at two year colleges. The site contains curricular materials for faculty, descriptions of successful programs, funding opportunities, professional development webinars and more. The website is created in part by the American Association of Community Colleges.

REV-UP
The Renewable Energy Valuation and Understanding Project (Rev-UpTM) is a web-based source of information for teachers, students, and others interested in renewable energy education. The site contains career information, college programs, course descriptions, books, simulations, demos and more. Users can add their own materials to the site.

Office of Basic Energy Sciences - Energy Workshops submitted by Nick Woodward, US Dept of Energy
This website lists BES-sponsored workshop reports resulting from The Basic Research Needs Workshop Series that are used to help identify research directions for a decades-to-century energy strategy. These reports provide the informational basis for the Energy Frontier Research Centers and single-investigator and small-group research proposals funded for 2009-2014 at $777 Million dollars.

Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC) Awards submitted by Glenn Richard, Stony Brook University
The United States Department of Energy announced funding for 46 multi-million-dollar Energy Frontier Research Centers that will be established at universities, national laboratories, nonprofit organizations, and private firms across the United States. Those interested in energy education can look at these EFRCs to get an idea of what research areas are receiving high priority, and which might serve as good topics for developing energy education programs. Summary information about each center is in this Google Earth KMZ file. Energy Frontier Research Centers (KMZ File 7kB May7 09)

Oil in My Shoes submitted by Jonathan Hoffman, University of Wyoming
This site contains information pertaining to petroleum geology. Topics are broken up into beginning; intermediate; and advanced levels. Beginning level topics include sedimentary geology; the geologic time scale; and core samples. Intermediate topics include porosity; permeability; mud logs; biostratigraphic correlation; and how wells are drilled. Advanced topics include maps (geologic and contour); electric logs; seismic mapping; and structural cross-sections. This website is a helpful resource for teachers who want to present information about the nature of petroleum geology; including how oil is found.

Stabilization Wedges: Solving the Climate Problem for the Next 50 Years with Current Technologies

S. Pacala and R. Socolow, Science 13 August 2004:Vol. 305. no. 5686, pp. 968 - 972

Stabilization Wedges
A comprehensive site hosted by Princeton University with data, activities and supporting materials.

Methane Hydrates submitted by Mark Turski, Plymouth State University
DOE website on methane hydrates
Oak Ridge National Laboratory's nine year old report on methane hydrates
USGS 17 year old fact sheet on methane hydrates

How to apply to classroom use

Your mission class - If you decide to accept it - is if this had such great potential for 17 yrs (which is the entire life span of a typical freshman) why don't we hear about this in the media or out of the gas bags (pun intended) in Washington, DC?

Energy and Sustainability News and Articles from Scientific American
This site features recent research, news stories and commentary across a large spectrum of energy topics, such as fossil fuels, biofuels and carbon policy.


Activities

Energy Teaching and Learning Resources submitted by Suki Smaglik, Central Wyoming College
by the Federal Resources for Educational Excellence
This resource provides a list of briefly annotated links to teaching activities and educational information from a variety of US government agencies including NOAA, NREL, EPA, DoE and others.

Teaching About Energy submitted by Suki Smaglik, Central Wyoming College
written by John Roeder, published by the American Association of Physics Teachers
This AAPT/PTRA manual contains background references and activities to help teachers and students with the many concepts involved in understanding Energy. Sample student activities from the full print manual are available here. The complete manual includes sections on basic concepts in energy different forms and conversion of energy and the social problems involved with energy. Appendices for teachers include help with labs an energy concept inventory and information on student learning of the topic.

Energy Quest submitted by Jonathan Hoffman, University of Wyoming
This site is run by the California Energy Commission. It is geared to both teachers and students and offers a number of resources for energy education. These include ideas for science projects; classroom activities; library references; energy-themed games; and tips for energy conservation.

Clarkson University: Energy Systems and Solutions submitted by Luke Dosiek, University of Wyoming
by Dr. Susan Powers; et. al.
This is a great resource for junior high school science teachers. It is a hands-on inquiry-based curriculum that focuses on energy choices while incorporating basic science fundamentals; engineering problem solving skills; and a culminating project where students identify and solve an energy-related problem in their own lives. It also includes the award-winning Energy Choices Board Game. I have had great success in teaching this in rural upstate New York.

PhET: Free online physics; chemistry; biology; earth science; and math simulations submitted by Luke Dosiek, University of Wyoming
from the University of Colorado
This is a huge collection of Java applets that help students visualize almost any high school level scientific topic. From electromagnetics to glaciers to basic quantum physics; each applet is presented in a simple; easy to understand user interface. They are a fantastic interactive visual aid.

Stabilization Wedges: A Concept & Game Includes student activity with worksheets and detailed instructions.


Data

Annual Energy Review, Energy Information Administration
This the Energy Information Administration's primary report of historical annual energy statistics. For many series, data begin with the year 1949. Included are data on total energy production, consumption, and trade; overviews of petroleum, natural gas, coal, electricity, nuclear energy, renewable energy, international energy, as well as financial and environmental indicators; and data unit conversion tables.

BP Statistical Review of World Energy
Statistics about production, consumption prices and reserves of oil, natural gas, and coal, along with data for hydroelectricity, nuclear power, renewable energy and more. This website also includes an interactive energy charting tool.

Emissions & Generation Resource Integrated Database (eGRID)
This EPS site is a comprehensive source of data on the environmental characteristics of almost all electric power generated in the United States. eGRID is unique in that it links air emissions data with electric generation data for United States power plants. eGRIDweb displays eGRID data in a user friendly way and allows you to export data you select.



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