These five short videos are an introduction to the pros and cons of energy issues, including cost, choices, efficiency, environmental impact, and scale. The videos are segments of a feature documentary entitled, Switch: Discover the Future of Energy.

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.

In this lesson, students complete a Myers-Briggs Type Inventory of their personality type as an introductory step to understanding what green jobs might suit their personal styles. From the information on this online tool, they look at different Green Jobs to explore possible careers.

Students calculate the cost of the energy used to operate a common three-bulb light fixture. They then compare the costs and amount of CO2 produced for similar incandescent and compact fluorescent light bulbs. Students also do a short laboratory activity to visualize why two bulbs, which give off the same amount of light, use different amounts of electrical energy.

In this activity, students learn about the pros and cons of co-firing woody biomass fuels with coal to produce electricity.

In this activity, students use Google Earth to investigate ideal features of wind farms.

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.

Students take a Home Energy Quiz from the Energy Star Program to identify home improvements that could make their homes more energy efficient. The resource includes follow-up information about energy-saving activities to reduce the cost of heating and cooling, supporting the student examination of energy use, energy efficiency and conservation.

Students investigate passive solar building design with a focus on heating. Insulation, window placement, thermal mass, surface colors, and site orientation are addressed in the background materials and design preparation. Students test their projects for thermal gains and losses during a simulated day and night then compare designs with other teams for suggestions for improvements.

This video is one of a series from the Switch Energy project. It reviews the environmental impacts of various energy resources including fossil fuels, nuclear, and renewables. CO2 emissions as a specific environmental impact are discussed.

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