Power Source

In this short activity, students or groups are tasked to make concept sketches that track the source of electrical power as far back as they can conceive. The concept sketches reveal students' prior conceptions of the power grid and energy mix, and lead naturally into a lesson or discussion about energy resources and power production.

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Steven Semken
SERC - On the Cutting Edge Collection

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Teaching Tips

Teaching Tips

This activity is a short introduction, taking only part of a class period. The educator needs to follow this with information about where energy comes from both locally and in the larger scheme of things.

Helpful slides on power sources are attached for use by the educator.

Electricity generation has shifted since this activity was written. Educators are advised to look up the current electricity sources for their area. [link https://metricmaps.org/2016/07/19/us-power-plant-primary-energy-source-b... 'A 2016 map'], [link https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/national/power-plants/ 'a 2015 interactive map'], or the [link https://www.epa.gov/energy/power-profiler 'EPA Power Profiler'] are all helpful ways to learn about your specific energy supplies.

Could be linked with a gallery walk so that groups can observe each others' posters.

Students can use this activity to investigate further into the particular source/type of energy where they live.

Literacy and Resources