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Author

Lisa LaBracio

Grades

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

Subjects

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

Resource Types

  • Video, 4 minutes, 47 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Assessment
  • Interactive Media
  • Article

Regional Focus

Global

How Much Land Does It Take to Power the World?

Synopsis
  • This animated video compares how much space would be needed to power the world using fossil fuels, nuclear power, wind power, and solar panels. 
  • The video discusses other factors that need to be taken into account, including other environmental impacts, the costs of each, the wastes produced (if any), and the availability of natural resources required. 
  • There are five multiple-choice and three short-answer questions that accompany the video, along with links to additional resources.
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • The video makes easy-to-understand comparisons between energy sources.
  • It touches on the benefits and drawbacks of each energy source.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The video references Grand Bahama island, Delaware, South Korea, and Mexico for size comparisons. The video shows their relative size but it may be helpful for students to also see these on a map.
  • Students should already be familiar with how these energy sources are used for electricity.
  • Students must create an account to answer the questions and teachers can create an account to view and download these answers or customize the lesson.
  • There is an ad before the video.

Differentiation

  • Resources that could help students further explore the geographic suitability of some energy types include this map that displays solar energy potential, this map that displays wind patterns, and this map that displays all the energy infrastructure and resources in the U.S.
  • In an economics class, students could further explore the upfront and marginal costs of the different types of energy.
  • Another resource related to land use and energy production is the En-ROADS Climate Solutions Simulator.
Scientist Notes
The different ways we generate electricity all require different spatial needs. This TEDEd video highlights those differences. This resource is recommended for teaching.
Standards
  • 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.
      • HS-ESS3-2 Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Economics
      • D2.Eco.2.9-12 Use marginal benefits and marginal costs to construct an argument for or against an approach or solution to an economic issue.
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.9.9-12 Evaluate the influence of long-term climate variability on human migration and settlement patterns, resource use, and land uses at local-to-global scales.
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