Exploring Energy with GIS

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Link to Resource: http://www.earthsciweek.org/classroom-activities/exploring-energy-gis
Resource Type:Classroom Activities; Curricula and Instruction
Grade Level:
5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Organization:American Geosciences Institute (AGI); Earth Science Week (ESW)
Summary:Locating crucial energy resources involves examining phenomena under, on, and above Earth’s surface. Some of these phenomena change frequently, such as winds. Others, such as oil and coal deposits, are products of long series of geologic processes. Yet all are geographic in nature — they occur in specific places for specific reasons. To determine the best regions to explore for new natural gas deposits, to determine the ideal places for wind farms, or to locate the best rooftops for solar panels in a city, Geographic Information System (GIS) technology and methods are vital. GIS is equally valuable in moving from exploration or resource siting to production and distribution. For instance, geographic thinking and decision making are critical in determining where to locate the pipeline moving natural gas from its source to the power plant, as well as the nature and capacity of the grid that moves electricity produced there. Likewise, GIS finds extensive use in other energy-related applications, whether in helping mitigate an environmental disaster such as an oil spill or informing a diplomatic endeavor in a world of “haves” and “have nots.” Geoscientists, energy researchers, and others in numerous careers and disciplines use GIS and its integrative nature to tackle these issues. You can, too.
Earth Science Big Ideas:Big Idea 7
NGSS Discplinary Core Ideas:ESS3.A
NGSS Performance Expectations:HS-ESS3-1; HS-ESS3-3; MS-ESS3-4
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering); Engaging in argument from evidence
NGSS Crosscutting Concepts:Cause and effect: Mechanism and explanation; Stability and change
Subjects: 6-8; 9-12; coal; earth science week; energy; high school; mapping; middle school; natural resources; oil and gas
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