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Project Look Sharp, Sox Sperry


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Social Studies, Physics, Economics, Engineering

Resource Types

  • Lesson Plans
  • Videos, 4 minutes, 50 seconds
  • Videos, 5 minutes, 40 seconds
  • Activity - Classroom

Regional Focus

Africa, Asia


PDF, Downloadable MP4/M4V

Transition to Renewable Energy Now

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  • In this 15-30-minute media literacy activity, students analyze two short video clips that show how solar energy increases the quality of life for people in rural Zambia and urban China. 
  • Students will learn the environmental harms of coal-powered electricity compared to the benefits of solar technologies. 
Teaching Tips


  • The lesson contains possible questions for social studies, science, ELA, and media literacy. Teachers can select from these questions to tailor their lesson.
  • The lesson plan and the videos can be downloaded and used offline.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Teachers should download and review the "How to Use Materials" document for this activity. A free account with Project Look Sharp is required to do this.
  • This activity assumes prior knowledge of renewable and non-renewable sources of electricity and their differences.


  • This can be used as a short activity like a bellringer or warm-up by selecting fewer questions.
  • This activity is ideal for creating awareness about the lives of people in underdeveloped countries.
  • Students can be challenged to identify the sources of electricity/energy within their community and the possible harmful effects on the environment.
  • Students can explore how their community could benefit from solar energy. Check out this resource to see how solar panels could be installed on your school.
  • This can be used in a media literacy class to identify the use of effects, music, and other filmmaking techniques.
  • Other similar activities on media decoding by Project Look Sharp include The Urgency of Climate ActionCommunity Responses to Climate Disaster Recovery, and Carbon Trading: Arguments For and Against.

Scientist Notes
This resource provides students an understanding of solar technology advancement and how it increases the standards of living for people in urban China and rural Zambia. This knowledge can be replicated in other countries. There is no contradiction in the resource and it is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-1 Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.
      • HS-ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • 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.
      • D2.Eco.15.9-12 Explain how current globalization trends and policies affect economic growth, labor markets, rights of citizens, the environment, and resource and income distribution in different nations.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Literature (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.9-10.5 Analyze how an author's choices concerning how to structure a text, order events within it (e.g., parallel plots), and manipulate time (e.g., pacing, flashbacks) create such effects as mystery, tension, or surprise.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.9-10.6 Analyze a particular point of view or cultural experience reflected in a work of literature from outside the United States, drawing on a wide reading of world literature.
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