Harvesting the Wind
Energy for a Developing World
Paving the Way
Growing Energy
Coal and Nuclear: Problem or Solution?

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


1. Research one source of energy from the list below and prepare to defend its merits to your classmates in one of the following ways:

1a. Create a presentation to "sell" this form of energy.

1b. Prepare for a classroom debate where you will have to defend your form of energy.

1c. Make a commercial (TV or radio) or an advertisement to sell your form of energy.

2) You may choose from this list or find your own:

. Coal energy
Watch "Coal & Nuclear: Problem or Solution?"

. Nuclear energy (pebble bed reactor)
Watch "Coal & Nuclear: Problem or Solution?"

. Oil (for transportation)
Watch "Evolution of the Automobile"

. Wind energy
Watch "Harvesting the Wind"

. Solar energy
Watch "Energy for a Developing World"

. Hydrogen energy (for transportation)
Watch "Evolution of the Automobile"

. Ethanol energy (for transportation)
Watch "Growing Energy"

. Biomass energy
Watch "Energy for a Developing World"

3. Some helpful hints for your project:

. Look into.

. The costs: initial versus long-term.

. Environmental effects: short-term versus long-term. Does it emit greenhouse gases? Pollutants?

. Accessibility: How much is there? Is it easy to get? Is it renewable?

. Timeline for starting production: Is it available now? When will it be?

. Make a pros and cons list. You can't defend your energy source if you don't know what the cons are.

. Listen to your opponent, take notes, refer to his/her statements in your response.

. What do the experts say? Find quotes and statistics. Be sure to reference a few sources to avoid biased information.

. Use visual aids, charts, graphs, videos, etc.

4. Share your work with your peers and community. Videotape your presentation, commercial or debate. Post it on and/or



National Resources Defense Council

California Energy Commission

Environmental Defense



Language Arts
Standard 1.9: Writes persuasive compositions that address problems/solutions or causes/effects (e.g., articulates a position through a thesis statement; anticipates and addresses counter arguments; backs up assertions using specific rhetorical devices [appeals to logic, appeals to emotion, uses personal anecdotes]; develops arguments using a variety of methods such as examples and details, commonly accepted beliefs, expert opinion, cause-and-effect reasoning, comparison-contrast reasoning)

Standard 4.2: Uses a variety of print and electronic sources to gather information for research topics (e.g., news sources such as magazines, radio, television, newspapers; government publications; microfiche; telephone information services; databases; field studies; speeches; technical documents; periodicals; Internet)

Standard 8.5: Makes formal presentations to the class (e.g., includes definitions for clarity; supports main ideas using anecdotes, examples, statistics, analogies, and other evidence; uses visual aids or technology, such as transparencies, slides, electronic media; cites information sources)

Standard 8.8: Responds to questions and feedback about own presentations (e.g., clarifies and defends ideas, expands on a topic, uses logical arguments, modifies organization, evaluates effectiveness, sets goals for future presentations)


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

Standard 5.8: Understands how the use of domestic and commercial power and energy affects the environment


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)

Standard 3.3: Knows that alternatives, risks, costs, and benefits must be considered when deciding on proposals to introduce new technologies or to curtail existing ones (e.g., Are there alternative ways to achieve the same ends? Who benefits and who suffers? What are the financial and social costs and who bears them? How serious are the risks and who is in jeopardy? What resources will be needed and where will they come from?)

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