Energy for the Developing World

Educators: Subject areas include high school language arts and science.


1. Read the background essay and discussion questions for the episode Energy for the Developing World. Watch the episode and discuss the post-viewing questions.

2. Keep a journal of each time you use electricity for one day.

3. Bring your list to class and brainstorm in small groups to think of ways to reduce your use of electricity.

4. See if you can change your behavior to reduce your electricity use and keep a journal of your changes throughout the day.

5. Write a reflection on the experience. Things to include:

. Did you find it hard to reduce your consumption of electricity? Why or why not? Did it make you more aware of how much you may or may not rely on electricity?

. Which of these changes will you make to help reduce your energy consumption permanently? If you will not make changes please explain why.

. Are there any substitute energy resources that you can use to reduce your use of electricity (e.g., study earlier in a room with natural light, play board games instead of watching TV, use long life light bulbs instead of regular light bulbs)?

. What was the reaction of people who saw you making these changes? Were they encouraged to make changes as well?

. Why is it important to conserve energy? What are some renewable forms of energy?

. Share your written work with your peers and community through the school newspaper, local paper and Web logs.


National Resources Defense Council

National Renewable Energy Laboratory



Language Arts
Standard 1.8: Writes fictional, biographical, autobiographical, and observational narrative compositions (e.g., narrates a sequence of events; evaluates the significance of the incident; provides a specific setting for scenes and incidents; provides supporting descriptive detail [specific names for people, objects, and places; visual details of scenes, objects, and places; descriptions of sounds, smells, specific actions, movements, and gestures; the interior monologue or feelings of the characters]; paces the actions to accommodate time or mood changes; creates a unifying theme or tone; uses literary devices to enhance style and tone)

Standard 1.11: Writes reflective compositions (e.g., uses personal experience as a basis for reflection on some aspect of life, draws abstract comparisons between specific incidents and abstract concepts, maintains a balance between describing incidents and relating them to more general abstract ideas that illustrate personal beliefs, moves from specific examples to generalizations about life)

Working With Others
Standard 1: Contributes to the overall effort of a group

Engineering Education
Standard 5.6: Knows renewable and non-renewable sources of energy (e.g., fossil, wind, nuclear, solar)

Standard 14.4: Understands how societal interests, economics, ergonomics, and environmental considerations influence a solution

Standard 3.2: Knows ways in which social and economic forces influence which technologies will be developed and used (e.g., cultural and personal values, consumer acceptance, patent laws, availability of risk capital, the federal budget, local and national regulations, media attention, economic competition, tax incentives)

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