High School: OpenSciEd Unit P.1: Energy Flow from Earth’s Systems

Listings > High School: OpenSciEd Unit P.1: Energy Flow from Earth’s Systems

OpenSciEd is a nonprofit organization that brings together educators, philanthropic organizations, curriculum developers, and professional development providers to improve science education through the development and implementation of high-quality, freely available science instructional materials. The goal of OpenSciEd is to ensure that all educators, from elementary to high school, have access to a free, coherent, rigorous, research-based set of instructional materials that will support all students in meeting the vision for science literacy described in A Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards.

Score: 8

Awarded the NGSS Design Badge

Science Discipline: Physical Science, Earth and Space Science, Engineering

Length: Unit

Year Reviewed: 2023

This unit is designed to introduce students to the concept of energy transfer in a relevant and grounded context: the Texas power crisis of February 2021. Students read articles and wonder about the complex social, environmental, and physical realities that led to such a crisis. They figure out how energy transfers between systems from a generator to our communities, and what makes an energy source reliable. This allows the class to model and explain what happened in Texas at multiple scales, from the electrons in the wires to the power companies making difficult decisions to maintain stability. Students consider engineering tradeoffs, criteria, and constraints inherent in making decisions about our energy systems, and apply them in a culminating task: design a reliable energy solution that meets our communities' needs, as articulated by interviews with friends and family members. The task is designed to give students the tools to speak up in their local and global community for a better energy future, one that aligns with their own values, and those of their families.

Link to Materials

The following link will direct you to the OpenSciEd P.1: Energy Flow from Earth’s Systems: P.1: Energy Flow from Earth’s Systems


NGSS Design Badge

Awarded: Feb 24, 2023

Awarded To: OpenSciEd Unit P.1: Energy Flow from Earth’s Systems


The NGSS Design Badge is awarded only to the version of this unit that was reviewed. If any modifications are made to this unit, the revised version cannot be promoted as having earned the badge.

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