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Author

Project Drawdown

Grades

9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College

Subjects

Science, Social Studies, Physics, Earth and Space Sciences, Economics

Resource Types

  • Article
  • Data

Regional Focus

Global

Electricity

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Synopsis
  • This article examines how electricity production contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and how it can shift away from fossil fuels and become more sustainable.
  • Students will learn that most of the world's electricity generation comes from burning fossil fuels, that countries can generate electricity with solar, wind, or geothermal energy, and that the United States and portions of Europe are moving away from coal-powered electricity.
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • Students will benefit from the solution-focused and realistic nature of this article.
  • This article is concise and easy to understand.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students need to understand how climate change is a critical problem for the human race.
  • Students should be familiar with green energy technologies.

Differentiation

  • Teachers using the article in a Zoom lesson can assign breakout rooms to discuss each category of the electricity sector.
  • To assess prior knowledge, the teacher can ask students to consider their electricity use throughout a typical day before reading the article.
  • This article can support a classroom discussion on what political, social, and economic barriers are slowing down the process of green energy implementation in the United States.
  • Students can use this article for a research project on electricity production in the United States.
Scientist Notes
This resource discusses electricity and the effect of ever-increasing anthropogenic greenhouse gases on climate change. The article begins with a brief discussion of what electricity is, how it is generated, and how using fossil fuels to generate electricity has contributed to the climate crisis. A few solutions to address the emissions from electricity include enhancing efficiency, shifting production, and improving our electrical systems. The resource is an excellent addition to a lesson discussing alternative methods for reducing carbon emissions. This resource is recommended for teaching.
Standards
  • 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.
      • HS-ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
    • PS3: Energy
      • HS-PS3-3 Design, build, and refine a device that works within given constraints to convert one form of energy into another form of energy.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Economics
      • D2.Eco.3.9-12 Analyze the ways in which incentives influence what is produced and distributed in a market system.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.2 Determine two or more central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to provide a complex analysis; provide an objective summary of the text.
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