‘Energy and its Surprising Role in your Life’ – a learning resource for students

In 2021 we wrote about Energy Ecosystem, an organization formed to provide neutral, fact-based information about the energy mix, specifically for high school students. The idea was conceived by a group of concerned parents with the goal of helping teachers encourage curiosity, open discussion and independent research about all types of energy. To that end, Energy Ecosystem is producing a series of videos on topics such as energy and the environment and how energy impacts the economy.

The first video in the series, ‘The Evolution of Energy and its Impact on the World’, takes students on a journey from the origins of energy to the choices we face today.

The second video in the series is called ‘Energy and its Surprising Role in your Life’ and it explores all the ways that energy powers our lives. It gets students thinking about the three different types of energy they use every day:

    • Primary energy is the power we use for heating our homes, cooking and transportation etc.
    • Secondary energy is used in growing and processing the food we eat, manufacturing, producing raw materials and shipping all these products.
    • Tertiary energy encompasses all the products that are made from energy sources, for instance plastics and electronics made from petrochemicals.

The video poses the question “how can you balance access to energy to advance quality of life while protecting the environment?”. It encourages students to think about how their energy footprint is impacted by every decision they make; the food they eat, the car they drive, where they live and so on.

As with the first video, it comes with a suite of support materials for teachers, including discussion materials, lesson plans, project suggestions and more.

As always, this video is not designed to tell students what to think, but rather it provides a starting point for discussion, and for students’ own research. The lesson plan includes a research project with potential for cross-curriculum work between social studies and science, and an in-class presentation in which students will be asked to take a position and defend it.

Today’s youth are concerned for the environment, and by helping them understand the ways they use energy, Energy Ecosystem is providing a starting point for them to discover their own role in reducing their energy consumption and leading the charge to a more responsible energy future.

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