natural resources

Scientist Profile: Solar Vehicle Engineer

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This DragonflyTV segment introduces Travis Lee, a mechanical engineer at the University of Minnesota who designs and races solar powered cars. Also available in Spanish.

Water: The Lifeblood | A Power Plant with Its Own Reservoir

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The Milton R. Young Station draws water from a man-made reservoir for use in their power plant.

Fusion: The Hydrogen Bomb

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Just as scientific researchers discovered that heavy elements like uranium can separate into medium-weight elements via nuclear fission, they also found that lightweight elements can combine into medium-weight elements in a process called nuclear fusion. This video segment, adapted from American Experience, describes a hydrogen fusion bomb and shows that, although fission and fusion are the reverse processes of each other, both generate energy--and of these, fusion generates significantly more.

Renewable Energy: Powered by Poop | Exploring Energy

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Find out how a dairy farm is using a methane digester to turn cow poop (manure) into electricity.

Energy Sources

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With this video, diagram, and accompanying lesson from Clue into Climate, produced by KQED, students learn how using renewable energy sources to create electricity helps reduce fossil fuel consumption.

What's Next for Nuclear?

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Can nuclear power be produced safely and affordably? In this video from QUEST produced by KQED, meet a scientist at the University of California, Berkeley, who is working to do just that.

This video is available in both English and Spanish audio, along with corresponding closed captions.

SciGirls | Blowin' in the Wind 04: Data Collection

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It's time for the SciGirls to collect data. They need to figure out where to put their mini wind farm so they collect data on wind speed from two different locations before choosing the best spot.

Fuel Cells

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Imagine if we could find a non-polluting, highly efficient source of power for our society's energy needs. One technology — the fuel cell — offers a strong and proven model. However, in order for the fuel cell to replace gas-powered engines and batteries, the fuel used to power it must be readily available. This video segment adapted from NOVA scienceNOW highlights the electrochemical reaction that takes place within a hydrogen fuel cell and explores the challenges of producing the pure hydrogen that fuels it.

Why Fracking, and Why Now?

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What is hydraulic fracturing, why has it become such a dominant technology for the oil and gas industry, and why is it so controversial? This video explores how economics, technology, and geology all play a role in the fracking boom, using pastries as an analogy. Accompanying lesson plans: Make a Fracking Model Activity (Grades 6-12) and Rock Porosity Experiment (Grades 6-10).

Seoul: The Stream of Consciousness

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Discover how efforts to reduce traffic by building more roadways paradoxically increased traffic. Learn about a project to remove one roadway and revitalize the stream beneath. In 2003, the city of Seoul took a rare step "back in time," demolishing a major downtown freeway to uncover and restore the ancient Cheonggyecheon stream that once flowed beneath it. An impressive feat of engineering, the project re-purposed more than 75 percent of the dismantled highway material for reconstruction and rehabilitation of the stream's banks and commercial corridor. The Cheonggyecheon is now a vital part of the city's commercial and tourism sectors and has proven that environmental restoration can revive culture and community, as well.

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