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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.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Video supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 3 Disciplinary Core Ideas
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

  • 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

  • Very convincing video about the potential of renewable energies. This video could be the beginning of a 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.
  • 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


Next Generation Science Standards See how this Video supports:

Middle School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 3

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.C2:Typically as human populations and per-capita consumption of natural resources increase, so do the negative impacts on Earth unless the activities and technologies involved are engineered otherwise.

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: 5

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.E1:The many dynamic and delicate feedbacks between the biosphere and other Earth systems cause a continual co-evolution of Earth’s surface and the life that exists on it.

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.

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