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6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Social Studies, History, Engineering

Resource Type

  • Videos, 7 minutes, 42 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States, Polar Regions


YouTube Video

How Insulated Glass Changed Architecture

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  • This video explains the origins of insulated glass and how it impacted architecture.
  • Students will learn about how windows historically impacted the buildings they were in, how double-paned glass windows came to the market, how insulated windows work, and the R-value associated with these windows.
Teaching Tips


  • This video is entertaining and gives a solid understanding of something students live with everyday but may not have thought about before. 

Additional Prerequisites

  • Ads plays before and after the video.
  • There is a joke referring to a man's experiences in World War II that may be confusing or offensive to some students. 
  • Students should have a basic understanding of recent historical events.


  • Cross curricular connections can be made in science and engineering classes by discussing the carbon footprint implications of insulated glass and how the windows compare to walls with R-values of 15 or more. 
  • Use this video as a conversation starter. What was surprising about the invention of insulated glass? What other aspects of everyday life have had similar impacts? What are some predictions about future innovations and inventions that could have similar impacts?
  • This video could also be used in social studies classes when discussing discrimination against women, cultural norms, or the portrayal of women in society.
  • Other related resources include this video about passive house design, this video introducing the concept of daylighting, and this video about how concrete could change the world again.
Scientist Notes
The video investigates the history of "Thermopane" that increased residents' visual and thermal comfort by demonstrating how buildings can be constructed to improve daylighting. This video is recommended for classroom use.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • MS-ETS1-2 Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
      • HS-ETS1-1 Analyze a major global challenge to specify qualitative and quantitative criteria and constraints for solutions that account for societal needs and wants.
      • HS-ETS1-3 Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: History
      • D2.His.1.9-12 Evaluate how historical events and developments were shaped by unique circumstances of time and place as well as broader historical contexts.
  • Related Resources


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