Burning Fossil Fuels

Burning Fossil Fuels

Burning fossil fuels releases large amounts of carbon dioxide into the earth's atmosphere. Large quantities of carbon dioxide are linked to global climate change. Humans release on average annually about 64 trillion pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. That is like releasing 3.2 trillion watermelons into the sky every year. Since greenhouse gases are invisible, colorless, and odorless, we can't see the impact. Compare that with renewable energy sources such as, wind, water and solar, which release no gases...
Download a Printer-Friendly PDF
Wind Can Do Work

Wind Can Do Work

From Renewable Energy

Use your engineering skills to design a windmill, then test how powerful the wind can be!

Investigate Weather

Investigate Weather

From Climate Change

How is weather different from climate? Weather can be described as day-to-day conditions. From a bright, sunny day to a snowy day, weather can change quickly. Climate, on the other hand, is made up of long-term weather patterns across many years. Let’s explore some of the characteristics of weather.

Edible Climate Zone Map

Edible Climate Zone Map

From Weather and Climate!

The world has many different types of climates. The United States has several different climate zones as well. With this edible map, you can tell your family about summer climates—after you chew!

Archimedes Screw

Archimedes Screw

From The Water Cycle!

Greek scientist Archimedes (288–212 BCE) invented a device to move water from a river to a farmer’s field. This device—called the Archimedes’ screw—is a tube with a large spiral inside. When you place the tube in water and turn it, the spiral pushes the water up. Try it!



“The amazing potential of the resources all around us—they often come in the form of sunshine, wind, and geothermal heat—take center stage in this project-based STEAM resource from the Build it Yourself series. The book is an exciting read, not just because of the future potential for alternative energy sources, but also because of the existent, real-world success stories of wind farms, hydroelectric dams, and solar panels. Potential career paths for future scientists are discussed, while easy experiments encourage reflection about readers' own consumption of energy and the size of their carbon footprints. Designed to engage, the book presents the advantages and disadvantages of a host of different energy sources and asks readers to weigh evidence and make informed decisions about which source might be best. Links to online sources couple with essential questions and writing prompts about a range of interdisciplinary topics to make this book a quality choice for both the classroom and pleasure reading.”

Children's Literature Review
“This book explores five renewable energy sources and helps the reader make informed decisions about the best energy choices. Covered are solar, wind, biofuel, hydro, and geothermal energy. A table of contents helps the reader navigate the six chapters and a timeline about energy precedes the introduction. Color illustrations complement the text. Sidebars throughout provide energy-related Worlds to Know. The content discusses pros and cons, links to online primary sources, hands-on activities, and accessible science links. The glossary defines relevant words. Seven essential questions are asked at the end of the text to serve as a comprehension check for readers. The index provides easy navigation through the text. Other Nomad titles related to renewable energy include Canals and Dams, Climate Change, Explore Electricity, and Explore Weather Climate. All of the books in this Build It Yourself series would be excellent additions to school libraries.”

School Library Journal
Owing to an overreliance on fossil fuels, the need for renewable energy has become urgent. Examining the benefits and trade-offs of solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, wave, and biofuel energy, this work offers information and hands-on projects.  A useful addition for larger collections with students studying renewable energy sources.”

School Library Connection
“This book would work best as a resource for STEM, STEAM, or STREAM classrooms with copies for each student group to use. Recommended

Michael Stone, Author of Oh, That's Education?, Cofounder of devX Teacher PD, and Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow at the National Science Foundation
"This book delivers deep insights on renewable energy in a way that is dynamic and informative. Even better? It also offers ready-to-implement, inquiry-based activities that are sure to captivate, educate, and energize students. Best of all, the book sheds light on the fact that the "fuels of the future" are already here, intertwined in our every day life. It helps readers see not only what is possible, but what already is!"

Emily Hawbaker, Curriculum Director, The NEED Project
"This fun book takes a "buzz word" students may hear about on the news and makes it an accessible topic for students and young learners through hands-on activities and literacy connections . . ."

Connie Hamner Williams, National Board-certified Teacher; Librarian
"The use of inquiry and the scientific journal as tools for documenting investigations, observations, and reflection is excellent practice for all kinds of research. Each investigation takes kids to the core of the energy source to help them figure out where it comes from, how it is captured, and how it can best be used."

Austin Brown, Project Leader, National Renewable Energy Laboratory; Senior Policy Analyst, White House Office of Science and Technology
"Energy is a hidden but important part of all of our lives, and can be a very daunting topic to study. This book shows how learning about energy and the fight against climate change can be interesting, inspiring, and educational instead. An aspiring scientist or engineer will enjoy the hands-on activities and any student can use the text to explore the role of renewable energy in its various forms in our future."

Carol Homrighouse, Science Teacher
"This is a must-have for teachers and students! The book, through its relevant, current, andage-appropriate information and activities, gives students the tools needed to make responsible, educated choices that will impact their lives and affect the future of our planet."

Brian F. Keane, President, SmartPower; Author of Green Is Good: Save Money, Make Money, and Help Your Community Profit from Clean Energy
"Renewable energy is real. It's here. And it's working. This how-to guide makes it fun and exiting! It's a must-read for anyone who wants to become truly energy smart!"

Minda Berbeco, PhD, Programs and Policy Director, National Center for Science Education
"This book takes students down a thoughtful and clever path to understand the mechanics of where energy comes from and the trade-offs associated with any energy source."


Project Templates

Reading Renewable Energy now? Download your templates below.

Wind Can Do Work

Glider Contest


Detailed Book Description

In Renewable Energy: Discover the Fuel of the Future, readers ages 9 to 12 learn how we are going to power our world tomorrow, in 20 years, and even in 50 years-with a range of renewable energy sources that include solar, biofuel, geothermal, and fluid energy!

  • Children are exposed to evidence of renewable energy use when they see solar farms, wind turbines, and dams.
  • Climate change is a high-interest topic children encounter through television, radio, and popular culture.
  • Activities developed in conjunction with NEED.org, encouraging students to explore, experiment, and engage, and encouraging teachers to embrace student leadership in the classroom. NEED trains and assists teachers in harnessing the energy of the classroom - the energy of students.
Available In:
Hardcover, $22.95
Paperback, $17.95
Includes: Table of Contents | Timeline | Charts | Glossary | Resources | Index | Metric Conversions Chart
Specs: 8 x 10 size | 4-color interior | 128 pages
Subject: Science


Opening Ceremonies

Chapter 1
The Power of the Sun

Chapter 2
Farming the Wind

Chapter 3
Planet Water

Chapter 4
Mother Earth’s Beating Heart

Chapter 5
Circle of Life

Chapter 6
Energizing Our Future

Metric Conversions
Essential Questions