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  • High School

    Energy

Students who demonstrate understanding can:

Performance Expectations

  1. Develop and use models to illustrate that energy at the macroscopic scale can be accounted for as a combination of energy associated with the motions of particles (objects) and energy associated with the relative positions of particles (objects). HS-PS3-2

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary

A Peformance Expectation (PE) is what a student should be able to do to show mastery of a concept. Some PEs include a Clarification Statement and/or an Assessment Boundary. These can be found by clicking the PE for "More Info." By hovering over a PE, its corresponding pieces from the Science and Engineering Practices, Disciplinary Core Ideas, and Crosscutting Concepts will be highlighted.

Science and Engineering Practices

By clicking on a specific Science and Engineering Practice, Disciplinary Core Idea, or Crosscutting Concept, you can find out more information on it. By hovering over one you can find its corresponding elements in the PEs.

Planning Curriculum

Common Core State Standards Connections

ELA/Literacy

  • SL.11-12.5 - Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest. (HS-PS3-2)

Mathematics

  • MP.2 - Reason abstractly and quantitatively. (HS-PS3-2)
  • MP.4 - Model with mathematics. (HS-PS3-2)

Model Course Mapping

First Time Visitors

Resources & Lesson Plans

  • More resources added each week!
    A team of teacher curators is working to find, review, and vet online resources that support the standards. Check back often, as NSTA continues to add more targeted resources.
  • This video clip demonstrates the use and performance of a 50 foot long solar balloon. A solar balloon demonstrates the phenomenon of the conversion of one form of energy (solar/electromagnetic) into other forms (thermal, kinetic, and gravitational po ...

  • This resource is an online interactive activity that displays 12 different energy bar charts and requires students to match a written description with the charts. There is a scoring system that allows teachers to monitor student progress. This is an ...

  • This 1 minute and 26 second video shows the phenomenon of a bowling ball being dropped onto a piece of clay and measuring the increase in temperature of the clay to demonstrate Conservation of Energy. A student drops the bowling ball onto the clay an ...

  • This resource is a series of questions that help guide students to a better understanding of the Conservation of Energy. It starts by asking students to analyze the energies involved when a wagon is pushed up a hill, and proceeds to confront students ...

  • In this lab activity, students use a PAScar Dynamics System and Data Studio software to investigate the conversion of gravitational potential energy into kinetic energy. Before beginning the experiment, students are asked to list and describe the dif ...

  • The resource (beginning on page 15) gives excellent background information that derives the equation for the conservation of energy of a falling object. Using that background as a guide, the resource then has the students perform an experiment with a ...

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  • This short video surveys the different current and potential sources of energy - both non-renewable and renewable. It provides some discussion of the pros and cons of the different sources and explains how they are used to produce energy that people...

  • This is a team-based activity that teaches students about the scale of the greenhouse gas problem and the technologies that already exist which can dramatically reduce carbon emissions. Students select carbon-cutting strategies to construct a carbon...

  • Student teams design and build solar water heating devices that mimic those used in residences to capture energy in the form of solar radiation and convert it to thermal energy. In this activity, students gain a better understanding of the three diff...

  • In this activity, students calculate the cost of the energy used to operate a common three-bulb light fixture, and compare the costs and amount of CO2 produced for similar incandescent and compact fluorescent light bulbs.

  • In this 'Energy Education for the 21st Century' design challenge, students construct and evaluate a solar-powered model car. Students utilize the design process and undergo review by their peers to select an optimal gear ratio and components for thei...

  • Students gain experience using a spreadsheet and working with others to decide how to conduct their model 'experiments' with the NASA GEEBITT (Global Equilibrium Energy Balance Interactive Tinker Toy). This activity helps students become more familia...

  • This activity introduces wind energy concepts through a reading passage and by answering assessment questions. The main section of the activity involves constructing and testing a windmill to observe how design and position affect the electrical ener...

  • This engaging video focuses on national and global wind energy potential by specifically highlighting Texas' role as wind energy leader and energy efficiency efforts in Houston, Texas.

  • This video segment highlights how the U.S. military is the single largest user of energy in the nation, but it is also trying to reduce its carbon bootprint. Scenes taped at Fort Irwin and Camp Pendleton show the Army and Marines experimenting with w...

  • This introductory video describes the basic principles of residential geothermal heat pumps.

  • This video provides a simple introduction to wind turbines and how they generate electricity.

  • This set of flow charts illustrates energy sources and uses in 136 countries around the world. The data from 2007, but is still useful for comparing energy patterns in different countries. This is the first comprehensive package of worldwide, country...

  • This video from the U.S. National Academies summarizes the energy challenges the United States faces, including the technological challenges, and the need for changes in consumption and in energy policy.

  • This animation illustrates how heat energy from deep in Earth can be utilized to generate electricity at a large scale.

  • This video segment from the Earth Operators Manual summarizes how fossil fuels are made, provides a comparison of how long it takes to store energy in coal, oil and natural gas, and discusses how fast we're using them.

  • This NASA video reviews the role of the sun in driving the climate system. It uses colorful animations to illustrate Earth's energy balance and how increased greenhouse gases are creating an imbalance in the energy budget, leading to warming. The vid...

  • This Flash animation describes how hybrid-electric vehicles (HEVs) combine the benefits of gasoline engines and electric motors and can be configured to obtain different objectives, such as improved fuel economy, increased power, or additional auxili...

  • This is a series of 10 short videos, hosted by the National Science Foundation, each featuring scientists, research, and green technologies. The overall goal of this series is to encourage people to ask questions and look beyond fossil fuels for inno...

  • This is an interactive table with a comprehensive list of 29 greenhouse gases, their molecular structures, a chart showing a time series of their atmospheric concentrations (at several sampling sites), their global warming potential (GWP) and their ...

  • This video segment is adapted from Building Big, a PBS series hosted by David Macaulay. It explores Hoover Dam's hydroelectric capabilities by explaining how it is able to harness the potential energy stored in the reservoir and convert it to electri...

  • This video segment, adapted from NOVA scienceNOW, addresses how new technology can help monitor and modernize the infrastructure of the U.S. power grid, which is ill-equipped to handle our increasing demand for electricity. Video provides a great ove...

  • This video segment from 'What's Up in the Environment,' shares how an entire home can be constructed using green energy sources (solar and geothermal energy). Video is narrated by young boy whose father is the chief engineer on the project.

  • In this video segment from NOVA's Saved By the Sun hour-long video, students learn about photovoltaics and see how two families are using solar technologies in their homes. The video introduces the ideas of state incentives and net metering benefit...

  • This is a utility-scale, land-based map of the mean annual wind speed 80 meters above the ground. This map can be used to evaluate the potential for wind energy in the US. State maps and more information are linked from the main map.

  • This animation presents the characteristics of wind power as a source of clean energy. The viewer may examine how a wind turbine works by pausing and clicking on its components. They include a gear box, rotor, high-speed shaft, generator, wind vane, ...

  • This video describes how geothermal heat resources in California have been tapped to supply 850 MW of electricity. Images and animations show how the area known as The Geysers has been developed to capture steam, produced from trapped rainwater and ...

  • In this video clip from Earth: The Operators' Manual, host Richard Alley discusses China's efforts to develop clean energy technologies and to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere, by building coal plants using CO2 sequestration technology. (scroll down pa...

  • This is a series of 5 guided-inquiry activities that examine data and models that climate scientists use to attempt to answer the question of Earth's future climate.

  • In this interactive, students can investigate a typical hydrogen fuel cell prototype car from its fuel cell stacks to its ultracapacitor, a kind of supplementary power source. The limited-production vehicle seen in this feature is a Honda 2005 FC...

  • This video is one of a series of videos from the Switch Energy project. It describes three types of geothermal sources -- rare ones in which high temperatures are naturally concentrated near the surface, deep wells that require fracturing the rock an...

  • This video highlights the benefits of electric vehicles, including improved fuel efficiency, reduced emissions, and lower maintenance costs.

  • This video is one of a series of videos produced by the Switch Energy project. It presents the pros and cons of wind power, such as where to build, affordability, efficiency, transmission.

  • This suite of short video clips is part of a series produced by the Switch Energy project. There are several video segments that discuss different perspectives of biofuels as a renewable source of energy.

  • In this activity students learn how Earth’s energy balance is regulating climate. This activity is lesson 4 in the nine-lesson module Visualizing and Understanding the Science of Climate Change.

  • This video addresses the importance of efficiency in providing power to an increasingly large global population.

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    This interactive addresses the question if we can reduce CO2 emissions by 20% of 1990 levels and help avoid dangerous climate change? Users of this interactive can manipulate changes to various sources and uses (supply and demand) of energy with the ...

  • In this activity, students use Google Earth to investigate ideal features of wind farms.

  • This animated video outlines Earth's energy. The video presents a progression from identifying the different energy systems to the differences between external and internal energy sources and how that energy is cycled and used.

  • This lesson explores the chemistry of some of the greenhouse gases that affect Earth's climate. Third in a series of 9 lessons from an online module entitled 'Visualizing and Understanding the Science of Climate Change'.

Planning Curriculum gives connections to other areas of study for easier curriculum creation.