WASHINGTON, D.C. - Teaching students about fossil energy just got easier with the development of educational materials and classroom tools by the Department of Energy's Office of Fossil Energy.
Study guides, online lessons and classroom activities - available online to teachers and students - cover the basics about fossil energy, including where coal, petroleum and natural gas come from, how we use them, and the current research and technologies being developed to allow us to use the fossil fuels in a more efficient and environmentally-sound manner.
The Office of Fossil Energy's educational materials are part of an award-winning outreach program designed to broaden the general public's knowledge of fossil energy. The outreach program won the American Coal Council's 2007 Excellence in the Development of Public Information Award at the Council's Spring Coal Forum in March.
Targeted to different age groups, the educational materials include:
- Elementary School: For the younger students, information available includes a study guide about coal, as well as puzzles and suggested classroom activities showing the part coal plays in supplying electricity.
- Middle School: Study guides on coal, petroleum and natural gas were created to help students gain a more in-depth understanding of fossil fuels and their role in today's energy supply. Online lessons are also available on the Fossil Energy Web site.
- High School: For the older students, the study guides explore the technologies being developed that make using fossil fuels more energy efficient and cleaner. The Strategic Petroleum Reserve - what it is, and its importance to the nation's energy security - is discussed as well. Information on internships and careers with the Department of Energy is also included.
Additional resources and links are also available on the site, including printable posters for the classroom, links to "Ask a Scientist" and more than 65 lesson plans developed to introduce middle and high school teachers and students to the topic of climate change.