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Database Provider


The Nature Conservancy, Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College (SERC)


3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th


Science, Biology, Engineering, World Languages, Spanish

Resource Types

  • Videos, 40 minutes, 43 seconds
  • Worksheets
  • Games
  • Lesson Plans

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - West, Oceania



Powering the Planet: Renewable Energy

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  • This teaching guide accompanies a 40-minute video that takes students on a virtual field trip to the Palmyra Atoll in the Pacific Ocean and the Mojave Desert in North America. 
  • The video features a mixture of background information on the two locations and information on renewable energy, including solar and wind energy. 
  • The teaching guide features background information, relevant Next Generation Science Standards, student worksheets, discussion questions, and a game called Nature Spy.

Teaching Tips


  • The teacher's guide is easy to follow.
  • The discussion questions in the teacher's guide have answers for the teacher to reference while facilitating discussions.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should have a basic understanding of the importance of implementing renewable energy.
  • Here is the link to the video.


  • Students could answer questions during the field trip or after they have watched the video.
  • This virtual field trip can be used as a starting point for students to further research renewable energy options.
  • Vocabulary lists can be prefilled to help students understand the video or for students to research definitions as they watch.
  • One activity is available in both English and Spanish.
  • If students would like to read a personal story of how climate change is impacting other islands in the Pacific Ocean, they can read Even Weber's story about his home in Hawaii.
Scientist Notes
The resource is suitable and recommended for teaching renewable energy sources and opportunities and options to transition to clean energy.
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • 4.ESS3.1 Obtain and combine information to describe that energy and fuels are derived from natural resources and that their uses affect the environment.
      • 5.ESS3.1 Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • 7.LS2.4 Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
      • 7.LS2.5 Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.
    • LS4: Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
      • 3.LS4.4 Make a claim about the merit of a solution to a problem caused when the environment changes and the types of plants and animals that live there may change.
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