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Feasting On Fuel: Renewables On America’s Farms

By some estimates, producing our food consumes about a fifth of the nation’s energy supply. It takes a lot of diesel to move tractors and semis around the farm, and electricity to pump water and dry grain. But some farmers are trying to cut back on the coal and gas they use and make our food system more energy efficient.

In this podcast from Inside Energy, learn about how farms are using renewable energy as a way of keeping costs down and utilizing creative solutions for greater sustainability.

CLEAN Collection: Demonstrations

The CLEAN Collection is a hand-picked and rigorously reviewed collection of educational resources aligned with the Climate Literacy and the Energy Literacy frameworks, and the Next Generation Science Standards.

This short list of demonstrations include resources related to thermal expansion and sea level rise, fermentation, biofuels, and solar ovens.

Stretch Your Potential

From this activity from the How to Smile Collection, learners create a toy that demonstrates the First Law of Thermodynamics or the Law of Conservation of Energy. By stretching the rubber band on the toy differently, learners explore the effects of potential energy on kinetic energy. The activity webpage from the Children’s Museum of Houston includes a fun how-to video for learners and educators.

Girls of Energy: DOE

Girls of Energy is designed to ignite curiosity and engage young minds across the globe, and we are thrilled to bring it to you. It showcases exceptional women who are conquering today’s energy challenges and creating tomorrow’s technology solutions. Comprised of lesson plans, activities, and an engaging website, Girls of Energy highlights the importance of energy and how it improves the lives of our friends, neighbors, and family members. Exploring the cutting-edge energy research and technology being developed at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Laboratories, Girls of Energy allows young women to see just how amazing a STEM career can be.

Project Learning Tree

Project Learning Tree (PLT) is an award-winning environmental education program designed for teachers and other educators, parents, and community leaders working with youth from preschool through grade 12.  “You’ll branch out and leaf a better educator!”

PLT also provides professional development training for educators.

 

PhET Simulations

The PhET online interactive simulations from the University of Colorado are free, research-based and research-validated, cover math and all the major sciences, and are translated into dozens of languages. The online teaching resources to support each simulation include a teacher’s guide from the PhET design team, plus classroom activities that clever teachers have already developed for a given simulation.  Here is a short list of suggested resources on energy:

  • The Energy Skate Park  (kinetic, potential energy)
  • Circuit Construction (electrical energy)
  • Energy Forms and Changes (energy states, forms, conservation of energy)
  • Generator (energy types, energy resources, magnetic fields)

And a long-time favorite, John Travoltage–where you can make John “Travoltage’s” leg rub to build up static so that he gets shocked when touching a doorknob!

Explore Utah’s Energy & Minerals

The Utah Energy & Minerals Education Initiative was launched in 2015 by the Governor’s Office of Energy Development (OED) and a variety of partner agencies, industry associations and other interested parties, all of whom shared the goal of advancing the public’s understanding of energy production and use.

To date, the Initiative has included K-12 curriculum development, scholarships for high school students, research funding and a Utah Energy & Minerals Days event hosted in conjunction with the annual Utah STEM Fest. As OED and its partners continue to make progress, expanding workforce development activities, public forums, and other forms of outreach and advocacy, this site will be a resource for all content, notices and news related to our education initiatives.

Currently, the site has lessons for grades 3-9 in science, social studies, and math.  Current events and news are also featured

NREL Energy Education Resources for Teachers

NREL(National Renewable Energy Lab) provides a variety of educational resources to help students, teachers, and parents educate their kids about renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies, including hands-on projects and curriculum suggestions for elementary school, middle school, and high school students as well as teachers.