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Wisconsin Center for Environmental Education, University of Wisconsin Stevens Point K-12 Energy Education Program


7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Social Studies, Geography, English Language Arts, Health

Resource Types

  • Lesson Plans
  • Presentation Slides
  • Worksheets
  • Videos, 6 minutes, 38 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Articles and Websites
  • Videos, 2 minutes, 8 seconds
  • Videos, 2 minutes, 54 seconds, CC
  • Videos, 5 minutes, 32 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Videos, 6 minutes, 55 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - Midwest, Wisconsin


Google Docs, Google Slides, PDF, YouTube Video

Black Leaders in Energy

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  • In this interactive lesson, students will learn about a variety of Black inventors, see how climate change is affecting Wisconsinites, and learn about the unequal effects of climate change experienced by some groups.
  • Students will participate in a patent gallery walk, research different inventors and discuss in pairs, practice note-taking to assist with learning, and be introduced to renewable energy careers.
Teaching Tips


  • This resource does a great job of covering many topics while also being concise.
  • This resource provides many additional opportunities to continue learning about these topics.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should know what character traits are and be able to name some.
  • Some students may need terms like impact, exacerbate, vulnerable, representation, photovoltaics, and others defined prior to starting the lesson.


  • Geography classes can analyze and answer questions about the different maps in the "Climate Change is Harming Our Health in Wisconsin" document (or just in the executive summary from the document).
  • Language arts classes can further analyze the figurative language in the Extreme Heat video, identifying metaphors and similes and analyzing the speaker's purpose in using them.
  • For students who struggle to read the patents, it may be useful to direct these students to the videos listed at the top of slide 33. This may provide needed context in an easily digestible format.
  • Consider providing an introduction to global warming and climate change prior to using this lesson, as it would benefit students to have a basic understanding of the causes and effects of climate change.
Scientist Notes
This resource from the Wisconsin K-12 Energy Education Program (KEEP) is a wide-ranging lesson that introduces students to past and present black leaders in energy and technology. An excellent slide show is provided, as well as a student activity sheet. At every step of this lesson, students are challenged to conduct their own research and share their findings with their peers. The resource includes many links to informative videos, patents filed by black inventors and many additional resources to help students conduct independent research, both for the lesson and if they have a personal interest in a clean energy career. This resource is engaging, well-sourced, and is recommended for teaching.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.5.6-8 Analyze the combinations of cultural and environmental characteristics that make places both similar to and different from other places.
      • D2.Geo.2.9-12 Use maps, satellite images, photographs, and other representations to explain relationships between the locations of places and regions and their political, cultural, and economic dynamics.
      • D2.Geo.6.9-12 Evaluate the impact of human settlement activities on the environmental and cultural characteristics of specific places and regions.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.7.1 Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
    • Reading: Literature (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.7.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of rhymes and other repetitions of sounds (e.g., alliteration) on a specific verse or stanza of a poem or section of a story or drama.
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
    • Writing (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.7 Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-2 Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.
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