This lists the logos of programs or partners of NG Education which have provided or contributed the content on this page. Program Connect! Transform the Future

  • Tips & Modifications


    For older students, assign a team leader to facilitate students volunteering for tasks they are interested in completing.



    Rather than allowing students to select the tasks they do for the multimedia presentation, assign tasks to students based on their strengths and abilities.


    1. Activate prior knowledge by having students brainstorm factors that affect energy supplies.

    Divide students into small groups. Have each group brainstorm and share some of their ideas with the class. Check to make sure students mention energy use and energy conservation, energy efficiency, and the types of energy resources being used. Encourage students to consider innovations such as building smarter cities that make more efficient use of resources, creating energy from resources such as biomass and waste, the invention of hybrid and electric cars, and using technology to modernize and increase the efficiency of our electrical grid, or power grid. Create a class list of factors affecting energy supply on the board. Discuss how these factors have affected supply in the past. Ask: Based on these factors, what challenges might affect the U.S. supply of energy in the future? Which factors do you think will have the biggest impact on our future energy supply? Why?


    2. Introduce the central question and discuss the concept of affordable energy.

    Write the following question on the board: Will there be enough affordable energy in the United States in the near future? Ask students what they think is meant by the term “affordable energy.” Ask:

    • What makes something affordable? Can the same item be affordable to one person but not affordable to another?
    • Can something be affordable at one point in time and not affordable under other circumstances? How might that apply to energy?
    • How do supply and demand affect the affordability of energy resources?
    • How do energy efficiency and conservation affect the affordability of energy?
    • Are there other costs of energy use besides economic costs? What are they?
    • Why might people or groups have different perceptions of what is affordable when it comes to energy?

    As a class, develop a working definition of affordable energy that takes into consideration factors such as economics, the environment, and societal factors such as ethics and human health.


    3. Introduce the presentation and debate task to students.

    Explain that students will be asked to take a position on the question, “Will there be enough affordable energy in the United States in the near future?” They will create a multimedia presentation supporting their position and then engage in a debate on the subject. Divide the class into two groups. Assign one group the “yes” position and the other group the “no” position. Distribute the Multimedia Presentation Rubric, Debate Rubric, and Moderator Questions. Review the documents with students, and answer any questions they might have.


    4. Have students collaborate to create the multimedia presentation.

    Allow time for the two groups to discuss their assigned position on the question and to brainstorm which factors will be most important in building their argument. Have students do some preliminary research using the provided websites. Then have each group write a one- or two-sentence position statement summarizing their argument. Have students create a list of tasks for completing the multimedia presentation. Tasks could include further research, planning and outlining, writing text, creating or gathering graphics, creating or gathering audio, and proofreading. Have students determine who will complete each task. Encourage students to take on more than one task and to spread out the workload equitably. Give students sufficient time to research and create their presentations. Establish checkpoints as students prepare their multimedia presentation; for example, ask students to check in with you when they finish their position statement, after they draft a plan, and after they draft their text.


    5. Have students prepare for the debate.

    Have each group identify five students who will participate in the debate. Explain the debate procedure to students. The moderator will ask five questions, and each student will respond to one question. Students will have four minutes to respond to each question, and there will be a five-minute break after the third question for students to prepare responses to the last two questions. Allow time for students to use the list of Moderator Questions to prepare. Students not directly participating in the debate should help to prepare their team members by listening to their arguments, proposing possible counter arguments, making suggestions, asking questions, and helping with additional research as needed.


    6. Have each group share its multimedia presentation.

    Following each presentation, allow audience members to ask any questions for clarification, but ask them to avoid questions that would lead to debate on the topic. Review the concept of constructive feedback with students, and give examples of the kinds of feedback you expect. Have each audience member use the Multimedia Presentation Rubric to peer review the presentation they viewed.


    7. Conduct the debate.

    Following the multimedia presentations, have the moderator open the debate by asking each side to describe their position. During the debate, have audience members use the Debate Rubric to review each argument. Make sure that students understand the difference between scientific evidence and value judgments. Have the teams who are debating take turns, with one student from each team responding to the question. Then have the moderator continue the debate by asking the next two questions from the list of Moderator Questions one at a time, and giving the speaker from each team four minutes to respond. Encourage team members to take notes and jot ideas during the responses to the first three questions. They can use these notes in response to the final two questions. Have the moderator call for a five-minute break after the first three round of questions so students can prepare their responses to the final two questions. Provide students with access to a computer during this break, if needed. Have the moderator finish the debate by asking the final two questions one at a time and giving the speaker from each team four minutes to respond to each question.


    8. Reflect on the multimedia presentation and the debate.

    Immediately following the debate, have students in the audience use their reviews to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each argument and to offer suggestions for improvement. Have students return to their original groups and review and discuss the peer reviews of their presentation. Ask each student to write a brief statement explaining what he or she contributed to the presentation, what he or she felt were the strengths of their presentation, and how it could be improved. Finally, allow the class time for free discussion of the question: Will there be enough affordable energy in the near future? Ask: What, if any, actions do we need to take to ensure that we have enough affordable energy in the future? How might the energy resources that make up our energy supply look different in the future?

    Informal Assessment

    Use the Multimedia Presentation Rubric and students’ reflections on the process to assess the multimedia presentation. Use the Debate Rubrics to assess the student debate.

    Extending the Learning

    Divide students into small groups, and assign each group an energy resource. Have each group use the Energy Sources website to research the energy resource and make a case for why emphasis should be placed on developing the resource as a component of any future energy plan.

  • Subjects & Disciplines

    • Technology
  • Language Arts
    • Debate
    • Physical sciences
  • Social Studies
    • Current events/issues