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Renewables Roundup - Earth: The Operators' Manual

Geoff Haines-Stiles Productions, Earth: The Operators' Manual

This video segment explores whether, in principle, renewable energy resources could meet today's global energy needs of about 15.7 terawatts.

Video length: 7:25 min.

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Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

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.
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4.1 Humans transfer and transform energy.
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.

Benchmarks for Science Literacy
Learn more about the Benchmarks

Energy from the sun (and the wind and water energy derived from it) is available indefinitely. Because the transfer of energy from these resources is weak and variable, systems are needed to collect and concentrate the energy.
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Industry, transportation, urban development, agriculture, and most other human activities are closely tied to the amount and kind of energy available. People in different parts of the world have different amounts and kinds of energy resources to use and use them for different purposes.
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Some resources are not renewable or renew very slowly. Fuels already accumulated in the earth, for instance, will become more difficult to obtain as the most readily available resources run out. How long the resources will last, however, is difficult to predict. The ultimate limit may be the prohibitive cost of obtaining them.
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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

  • Great hook for a module on renewable energy.
  • Before showing video, consider asking students to rate the relative potential contribution of the various renewable energy options. Ask them, depending on where your school is situated, which renewable option they think might be most practical and useful to their region.

About the Science

  • This video could be the beginning of a balanced discussion regarding the challenges of, and potential and opportunities for renewable energy to power industrialized society.
  • The issue of resources vs. reserves is not discussed. Resources is the amount of a natural resource, such as solar energy, petroleum, etc. that exists in nature; whereas reserves are what can be exploited given today's technology, economic, political, legal and cultural constraints.
  • The resources of any energy source will always be bigger than its reserves.
  • Very convincing video about the potential of renewable energies. Annotated script provides some additional background information: http://earththeoperatorsmanual.com/annotated_script/lightbox2.html
  • Passed initial science review - expert science review pending.

About the Pedagogy

  • Great images and examples of use of renewable energy. This movie will serve as a great start to look at local renewable energy potential.
  • An annotated script, learning goals, vocabulary, and teaching tips are all provided, as well as links to core science standards.
  • Students will be able to list, in order of potential contribution to meeting Earth’s energy needs, the following renewable resources: the sun, hydropower, biomass, and geothermal
  • Students will be able to cite some of the pros and cons of biomass used for fuel and compare and contrast corn and sugarcane as sources for biofuels.
  • Students will understand that different nations and different regions have access to different renewable energy resources.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • 508 compliant (Closed-captioned text provided).
  • Technically well done and of high quality.

Related URLs These related sites were noted by our reviewers but have not been reviewed by CLEAN


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