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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.

Energy: A Multidisciplinary Approach for Teachers (EMAT)

Energy: A Multidisciplinary Approach for Teachers (EMAT) is an online course for high school science teachers. We developed it for teachers, but it’s chock full of resources that teachers might use with high school students.

Energy ideas are fundamental to all areas of science. Our goal is to help teachers learn more about energy ideas and, in turn, help their students understand energy, too. When our kids understand key energy concepts, they will be better prepared to actively participate as citizens in making energy decisions as part of our rapidly changing economy.

BSCS developed the EMAT course in collaboration with Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB), the National Teachers Enhancement Network (NTEN) of Montana State University, the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL), and the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC).

Register with the Rise learning management system (it’s free) and then choose EMAT from the course catalog.

There are six units in the EMAT course:

  • Coal
  • Nuclear Energy
  • Wind
  • Geothermal Energy
  • Biofuels
  • Solar Energy

Each unit helps teachers learn key energy concepts and think about how to help students learn key energy concepts. As part of the course, there are a variety of materials to help both students and teachers:

  1. Animations—short animated videos that showcase important science and energy concepts
  2. Interactive Learning Experiences—interactive and fun opportunities to explore scientific ideas related to energy
  3. Classroom Videos—see how other teachers have engaged their students in teaching complex ideas related to energy

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.

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!

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.

The Physics Front

Physics Front has reviewed and catalogued quality resources for K-12 teaching.  This collection focuses on resources, lesson plans, activities, and websites in support of teaching concepts related to energy and other topics in physics.

BP Educational Service

BP Educational Service (BPES) provides free videos, animations, and activities for school through college-aged students on Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) concepts. The aim of BPES is to use classroom concepts as the basis for activities and learning opportunities in the real-world.

Courtesy of: BP International

CLEAN

The Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) provides a collection of over 600 energy resources for classrooms from middle school through higher education. Search for activities that have been reviewed by teaching professionals.

Courtesy of: The Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College, its partners with funding from the National Science Foundation, and other sponsors