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


Science, Social Studies, Economics

Resource Type

  • Videos, 3 minutes, 59 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus



YouTube Video

How Much Energy Does the Internet Use?

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  • This engaging PBS video discusses the connection between the Internet and energy usage. 
  • The video highlights different perspectives, discussing ways the Internet expends energy as well as reduces climate impacts. 

Teaching Tips


  • The video incorporates a wide variety of text, music, and graphics to engage the audience and increase understanding.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students will benefit from understanding the connection between fossil fuels, electricity, and climate change.
  • There is an advertisement at the end of the video. Content concludes at 3 minutes, 24 seconds.


Scientist Notes
The world is becoming more digital through the Internet, and the resource attempts to evaluate carbon footprints from this sector. Although data centers and hubs use a lot of energy, the benefits of the Internet have made life and communication seamless. Other sectors like transportation, agriculture, manufacturing, etc. contribute CO2 emissions more than emissions from data centers. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-4 Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth's systems.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 1: Developing Questions and Planning Inquiries
      • D1.2.6-8 Explain points of agreement experts have about interpretations and applications of disciplinary concepts and ideas associated with a compelling question.
    • Dimension 2: Economics
      • D2.Eco.13.9-12 Explain why advancements in technology and investments in capital goods and human capital increase economic growth and standards of living.
    • Dimension 4: Taking Informed Action
      • D4.6.6-8 Draw on multiple disciplinary lenses to analyze how a specific problem can manifest itself at local, regional, and global levels over time, identifying its characteristics and causes, and the challenges and opportunities faced by those trying to address the problem.
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