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Jes Burns


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Social Studies, Physics, Earth and Space Sciences, Civics, Engineering

Resource Type

  • Article

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - West, Oregon, Oregon Coast

Oregon Wave Energy Testing Project Moves Forward

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  • This article examines a recent wave energy project that is being tested off the coast of Oregon by PacWave and Oregon State University.
  • Students will learn about the potential size and structure of this project, the role of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in the project's permitting process, and how time constraints and expenses have curbed the implementation of wave energy in the past.
Teaching Tips


  • This article is concise and includes a great infographic of the components in wave energy technology.
  • This article addresses a climate solution that is not widely discussed.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should be familiar with kinetic and potential energy.
  • Students may have to enlarge the graphic to see the details.


  • This article could supplement a lesson in which students evaluate wave energy's effectiveness at reducing human impacts on natural systems.
  • Students could use the article to evaluate the U.S. government's effectiveness at addressing climate change.
  • This article could be used for a class discussion on how wave energy fits into a larger discourse about renewable energy and to what extent wave energy should be considered in mitigation discussions.
  • For a language arts class, this article gives students an opportunity to determine the central ideas or conclusions of a scientific text.
Scientist Notes
This resource covers the research being done at Oregon State University surrounding wave energy. There is a brief discussion on the university's plans to create a wave energy testing facility, along with some discussion surrounding the permitting required. It includes a great illustration of what a wave testing facility would look like. This resource would be a great addition to a classroom discussion about different types of renewable energy. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • 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: Civics
      • D2.Civ.5.9-12 Evaluate citizens' and institutions' effectiveness in addressing social and political problems at the local, state, tribal, national, and/or international level.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.2 Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; trace the text's explanation or depiction of a complex process, phenomenon, or concept; provide an accurate summary of the text.
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