Activity Overview: Primary energy consists of unconverted or original fuels. Secondary energy includes resources that have been converted or stored. For example, primary energy sources include petroleum, natural gas, coal, biomass, flowing water, wind, and solar radiation. Those are the fuels that can be mined, reaped, extracted, harvested, or harnessed directly. Secondary energy cannot be harnessed directly from nature; rather, secondary energy is energy that has already been converted. For example, electricity cannot be mined or harvested, though it is available in quick bursts on occasion from lightning. It is generated as a secondary form from primary fuels, like natural gas.

After researching and discussing each of the different individual energy resources, use time to discuss the difference between primary and energy resources and then to classify each of the following resources into one of two categories. Do this activity in small groups or as a whole class on the board.

You can also project the Primary Resource or Secondary Energy Interactive element from Chapter 3 of Energy 101. For the purposes of this activity and the discussion, resource and energy are used mostly interchangeably. The key difference between primary and secondary is the conversion process.

Time: 20-30 minutes

Primary Resource or Secondary Energy?

PrimarySecondary
Oil
Natural Gas
Coal
Uranium
Blowing Wind
Flowing Water
Biomass
Sunlight
Gasoline
Liquid Fuel Oil
Biofuels
Electricity
Hydrogen
Heat

Resources:

The introduction for this activity was reprinted in part from Chapter 3: Energy Literacy from Energy 101: Energy Technology & Policy, which provides an introduction to the difference between primary and secondary sources of energy. Access to Energy 101 for Texas students and teachers is provided for free by the State Energy Conservation Office as part of the Watt Watchers of Texas program.

Students should identify additional print and digital resources and evaluate them for relevance, validity, and reliability.

TEKS

SCI.6.7A, ELA.6.22B, ELA.6.23A, ELA.6.24B, ELA.6.25A

Activity Overview: Research is a crucial part of the scientific process, and mastery of which is a turning point between passive learning and active learning. The purpose of this activity is to research and discuss the benefits and drawbacks of different primary energy resources. Primary energy resources include all unconverted or original fuels.

Time: 45 minutes, consider reserving time in the library to leverage print and digital resources in your school’s collection

Students should use a variety of resources to research the primary energy resource solar and use the information to fill out the following chart of advantages and disadvantages.

Solar

AdvantagesDisadvantages

list the pros here

list the cons here

Evaluating the advantages and disadvantages is the first step in analyzing the tradeoffs of different energy resources.

Students can work individually or in groups to research and fill in the chart. However, they should be prepared to discuss their findings either with their groups or in front of the class.

Resources:

Chapter 14: Solar Energy from Energy 101: Energy Technology & Policy provides an introduction to the different types of coal and the technologies used to leverage the resource in the energy sector. Access to Energy 101 for Texas students and teachers is provided for free by the State Energy Conservation Office as part of the Watt Watchers of Texas program.

Students should identify additional print and digital resources and evaluate them for relevance, validity, and reliability.

TEKS

SCI.6.7A, ELA.6.22B, ELA.6.23A, ELA.6.24B, ELA.6.25A

Activity Overview: Research is a crucial part of the scientific process, and mastery of which is a turning point between passive learning and active learning. The purpose of this activity is to research and discuss the benefits and drawbacks of different primary energy resources. Primary energy resources include all unconverted or original fuels.

Time: 45 minutes, consider reserving time in the library to leverage print and digital resources in your school’s collection

Students should use a variety of resources to research the primary energy resource geothermal energy and use the information to fill out the following chart of advantages and disadvantages.

Geothermal

AdvantagesDisadvantages

list the pros here

list the cons here

Evaluating the advantages and disadvantages is the first step in analyzing the tradeoffs of different energy resources.

Students can work individually or in groups to research and fill in the chart. However, they should be prepared to discuss their findings either with their groups or in front of the class.

Resources:

Chapter 15: Geothermal Energy from Energy 101: Energy Technology & Policy provides an introduction to the different types of coal and the technologies used to leverage the resource in the energy sector. Access to Energy 101 for Texas students and teachers is provided for free by the State Energy Conservation Office as part of the Watt Watchers of Texas program.

Students should identify additional print and digital resources and evaluate them for relevance, validity, and reliability.

TEKS

SCI.6.7A, ELA.6.22B, ELA.6.23A, ELA.6.24B, ELA.6.25A

Activity Overview: Research is a crucial part of the scientific process, and mastery of which is a turning point between passive learning and active learning. The purpose of this activity is to research and discuss the benefits and drawbacks of different primary energy resources. Primary energy resources include all unconverted or original fuels.

Time: 45 minutes, consider reserving time in the library to leverage print and digital resources in your school’s collection

Students should use a variety of resources to research the primary energy resource hydropower and use the information to fill out the following chart of advantages and disadvantages.

Hydropower

AdvantagesDisadvantages

list the pros here

list the cons here

Evaluating the advantages and disadvantages is the first step in analyzing the tradeoffs of different energy resources.

Students can work individually or in groups to research and fill in the chart. However, they should be prepared to discuss their findings either with their groups or in front of the class.

Resources:

Chapter 12: Hydroelectric Energy from Energy 101: Energy Technology & Policy provides an introduction to the different types of coal and the technologies used to leverage the resource in the energy sector. Access to Energy 101 for Texas students and teachers is provided for free by the State Energy Conservation Office as part of the Watt Watchers of Texas program.

Students should identify additional print and digital resources and evaluate them for relevance, validity, and reliability.

TEKS

SCI.6.7A, ELA.6.22B, ELA.6.23A, ELA.6.24B, ELA.6.25A

Activity Overview: Research is a crucial part of the scientific process, and mastery of which is a turning point between passive learning and active learning. The purpose of this activity is to research and discuss the benefits and drawbacks of different primary energy resources. Primary energy resources include all unconverted or original fuels.

Time: 45 minutes, consider reserving time in the library to leverage print and digital resources in your school’s collection

Students should use a variety of resources to research the primary energy resource wind and use the information to fill out the following chart of advantages and disadvantages.

Wind

AdvantagesDisadvantages

list the pros here

list the cons here

Evaluating the advantages and disadvantages is the first step in analyzing the tradeoffs of different energy resources.

Students can work individually or in groups to research and fill in the chart. However, they should be prepared to discuss their findings either with their groups or in front of the class.

Resources:

Chapter 13: Wind Energy from Energy 101: Energy Technology & Policy provides an introduction to the different types of coal and the technologies used to leverage the resource in the energy sector. Access to Energy 101 for Texas students and teachers is provided for free by the State Energy Conservation Office as part of the Watt Watchers of Texas program.

Students should identify additional print and digital resources and evaluate them for relevance, validity, and reliability.

TEKS

SCI.6.7A, ELA.6.22B, ELA.6.23A, ELA.6.24B, ELA.6.25A

Activity Overview: Research is a crucial part of the scientific process, and mastery of which is a turning point between passive learning and active learning. The purpose of this activity is to research and discuss the benefits and drawbacks of different primary energy resources. Primary energy resources include all unconverted or original fuels.

Time: 45 minutes, consider reserving time in the library to leverage print and digital resources in your school’s collection

Students should use a variety of resources to research the primary energy resource biomass and use the information to fill out the following chart of advantages and disadvantages.

Biomass

AdvantagesDisadvantages

list the pros here

list the cons here

Evaluating the advantages and disadvantages is the first step in analyzing the tradeoffs of different energy resources.

Students can work individually or in groups to research and fill in the chart. However, they should be prepared to discuss their findings either with their groups or in front of the class.

Resources:

Chapter 16: Bioenergy from Energy 101: Energy Technology & Policy provides an introduction to the different types of coal and the technologies used to leverage the resource in the energy sector. Access to Energy 101 for Texas students and teachers is provided for free by the State Energy Conservation Office as part of the Watt Watchers of Texas program.

Students should identify additional print and digital resources and evaluate them for relevance, validity, and reliability.

TEKS

SCI.6.7A, ELA.6.22B, ELA.6.23A, ELA.6.24B, ELA.6.25A

Activity Overview: Research is a crucial part of the scientific process, and mastery of which is a turning point between passive learning and active learning. The purpose of this activity is to research and discuss the benefits and drawbacks of different primary energy resources. Primary energy resources include all unconverted or original fuels.

Time: 45 minutes, consider reserving time in the library to leverage print and digital resources in your school’s collection

Students should use a variety of resources to research the primary energy resource nuclear and use the information to fill out the following chart of advantages and disadvantages.

Nuclear

AdvantagesDisadvantages

list the pros here

list the cons here

Evaluating the advantages and disadvantages is the first step in analyzing the tradeoffs of different energy resources.

Students can work individually or in groups to research and fill in the chart. However, they should be prepared to discuss their findings either with their groups or in front of the class.

Resources:

Chapter 17: Nuclear Energy from Energy 101: Energy Technology & Policy provides an introduction to the different types of coal and the technologies used to leverage the resource in the energy sector. Access to Energy 101 for Texas students and teachers is provided for free by the State Energy Conservation Office as part of the Watt Watchers of Texas program.

Students should identify additional print and digital resources and evaluate them for relevance, validity, and reliability.

TEKS

SCI.6.7A, ELA.6.22B, ELA.6.23A, ELA.6.24B, ELA.6.25A

Activity Overview: Research is a crucial part of the scientific process, and mastery of it is a turning point between passive learning and active learning. The purpose of this activity is to research and discuss the benefits and drawbacks of different primary energy resources. Primary energy resources include all unconverted or original fuels.

Time: 45 minutes, consider reserving time in the library to leverage print and digital resources in your school’s collection

Students should use a variety of resources to research the primary energy resource natural gas and use the information to fill out the following chart of advantages and disadvantages.

Natural Gas

AdvantagesDisadvantages

list the pros here

list the cons here

Evaluating the advantages and disadvantages is the first step in analyzing the tradeoffs of different energy resources.

Students can work individually or in groups to research and fill in the chart. However, they should be prepared to discuss their findings either with their groups or in front of the class.

Resources:

Chapter 8: Natural Gas from Energy 101: Energy Technology & Policy provides an introduction to the different types of coal and the technologies used to leverage the resource in the energy sector. Access to Energy 101 for Texas students and teachers is provided for free by the State Energy Conservation Office as part of the Watt Watchers of Texas program.

Students should identify additional print and digital resources and evaluate them for relevance, validity, and reliability.

TEKS

SCI.6.7A, ELA.6.22B, ELA.6.23A, ELA.6.24B, ELA.6.25A

Activity Overview: Research is a crucial part of the scientific process, and mastery of which is a turning point between passive learning and active learning. The purpose of this activity is to research and discuss the benefits and drawbacks of different primary energy resources. Primary energy resources include all unconverted or original fuels.

Time: 45 minutes, consider reserving time in the library to leverage print and digital resources in your school’s collection

Students should use a variety of resources to research the primary energy resource oil and use the information to fill out the following chart of advantages and disadvantages.

Oil

AdvantagesDisadvantages

list the pros here

list the cons here

Evaluating the advantages and disadvantages is the first step in analyzing the tradeoffs of different energy resources.

Students can work individually or in groups to research and fill in the chart. However, they should be prepared to discuss their findings either with their groups or in front of the class.

Resources:

Chapter 9: Petroleum from Energy 101: Energy Technology & Policy provides an introduction to the different types of coal and the technologies used to leverage the resource in the energy sector. Access to Energy 101 for Texas students and teachers is provided for free by the State Energy Conservation Office as part of the Watt Watchers of Texas program.

Students should identify additional print and digital resources and evaluate them for relevance, validity, and reliability.

TEKS

SCI.6.7A, ELA.6.22B, ELA.6.23A, ELA.6.24B, ELA.6.25A

Activity Overview: Research is a crucial part of the scientific process, and mastery of which is a turning point between passive learning and active learning. The purpose of this activity is to research and discuss the benefits and drawbacks of different primary energy resources. Primary energy resources include all unconverted or original fuels.

Time: 45 minutes. Consider reserving time in the library to leverage print and digital resources in your school’s collection

Students should use a variety of resources to research the primary energy resource coal and use the information to fill out the following chart of advantages and disadvantages.

Coal

AdvantagesDisadvantages

list the pros here

list the cons here

Evaluating the advantages and disadvantages is the first step in analyzing the tradeoffs of different energy resources.

Students can work individually or in groups to research and fill in the chart. However, they should be prepared to discuss their findings either with their groups or in front of the class.

Resources:

Chapter 7: Coal from Energy 101: Energy Technology & Policy provides an introduction to the different types of coal and the technologies used to leverage the resource in the energy sector. Access to Energy 101 for Texas students and teachers is provided for free by the State Energy Conservation Office as part of the Watt Watchers of Texas program.

Students should identify additional print and digital resources and evaluate them for relevance, validity, and reliability.

TEKS

SCI.6.7A, ELA.6.22B, ELA.6.23A, ELA.6.24B, ELA.6.25A

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram