This video, from the US Department of Energy, shows the basics of how a PV panel converts light radiated from the sun into usable power, whether on the electric grid or off, and without emissions or the use of fossil fuels.

This series of informative graphics provide a regional overview of US energy resources.

An activity focusing on black carbon. This activity explores the impacts of the use of wood, dung, and charcoal for fuel, all which generate black carbon, in developing countries.

Students use Google Earth to analyze oil consumption per capita in the US and around the world. Students then use spreadsheets to create graphs and calculate statistics regarding per capita energy use among various categories.

This interactive/applet allows the user to explore the potential increase in carbon emissions over the next 50 years, subject to modifications made by the user in various technologies that impact carbon output. Part of the Visualizing and Understanding the Science of Climate Change module.

This activity engages students in learning about ways to become energy efficient consumers. Students examine how different countries and regions around the world use energy over time, as reflected in night light levels. They then track their own energy use, identify ways to reduce their individual energy consumption, and explore how community choices impact the carbon footprint.

In this classroom activity, students analyze regional energy usage data and their own energy bills to gain an understanding of individual consumption, regional uses, costs, and sources of energy.

In this activity, students explore the basic living requirements of algae (phytoplankton)through hands-on experience and an interactive game. Students investigate what algal biofuels are, how they are made, where they can grow, and, most importantly, why this topic should be investigated. Algal biofuels are an emerging source of renewable energy.

This carbon calculator, developed by the EPA, guides students in calculating their carbon footprint and then using that information to make decisions about how to reduce their carbon emissions.

This multi-week project begins with a measurement of baseline consumptive behavior followed by three weeks of working to reduce the use of water, energy, high-impact foods, and other materials. The assignment uses an Excel spreadsheet that calculates direct energy and water use as well as indirect CO2 and water use associated with food consumption. After completing the project, students understand that they do indeed play a role in the big picture. They also learn that making small changes to their lifestyles is not difficult and they can easily reduce their personal impact on the environment.

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