Americans know that we use a lot of energy, but the numbers that show our use of energy compared to other countries worldwide are staggering. Our need for electricity to support our homes and businesses is substantial. Our energy resources and infrastructure can typically meet these demands, but some countries either do not have the energy resources or do not have the energy infrastructure, limiting energy use. Discussing energy or carbon footprints with students is important, as is having students conduct energy audits of their own use. But much of our energy use is hidden from sight, which is the focus of this video.
Watch this video of 4th and 5th grade students in San Diego, California—a coastal community. The purpose of this classroom video is to watch students discuss U.S. energy use, especially the hidden energy costs of transporting goods to our communities.
For additional classroom context, video analysis, and reflection opportunities, read the Picture of Practice page for "U.S. Energy Use Today" in the Energy Potential Environmental Literacy Teacher Guide, page 96.