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Investigation 1:
Tracing Electricity to Its Source

This investigation will help you to:

To learn more about properties of energy, visit the following web sites:

What are fossil fuels?

Learning About Fossil Fuels,
US Dept. of Energy
Explore the Department of Energy's educational resource for fossil fuels.

The Origins of Fossil Fuels,
This site provides an imaginative, in depth explanation of the origins of fossil fuels.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of generating energy from fossil fuels?

Electricity Supply and Demand Fact Sheet,
This site reviews the current issues facing electricity generation in the United States and explains how industry deals with these issues.

Electric Power Industry Overview,
This page contains a list of links to web pages that provide information on various aspects of the electric power industry.

What is electricity?

What is Electricity?,
Energy Information Administration
Learn the basics about electricity, as well as investigate the brief history of electrical generation.

What is Electricity?,
California Energy Commission
This web site provides information on electrical wires and batteries, as well as provides directions to a simple experiment that will help you understand the transference of electrons.

"Electricity" Misconceptions in Textbooks
William J. Beaty
Visit this web site to find information on more than 14 common misconceptions on electricity that are often perpetuated in textbooks.

How does energy move from the source, through the wire and into a home or building?

Explore the generation and transportation of electricity, including the purpose of turbines and nonrenewable/renewable energy sources in these processes.

Electricity Transmission System,
California Energy Commision
Learn how electricity gets to the customers, after its production at the power plants.

Virtual Tour of a Power Plant,
XCEL Energy
Take a trip through this state-of-the-art power generating plant. The descriptions and graphics of real power plants make this a useful tool for learning about electricity.

What natural resources are needed for a power plant to work?

Electricity: How It Is Produced,
Barron Electric Cooperative
Explore the standard process of creating electricity, regardless of the power source at this site.

How do turbines work?

Generators, Turbines and Power Plants,
California Energy Commision
Find out how generators, turbines, and powerplants work together to create electricity.

Wind Turbine Use,
Explore this site to learn how a group of wind turbines can make electricity for the utility grid.

Start Your Engines,
Check out this page to learn more about steam turbines and different turbine types.



Investigation 1

Investigation 2

Investigation 3

Investigation 4

Investigation 5

Investigation 6

Investigation 7

Further Research


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Last updated: January 26, 2009

This project is supported, in part, by the National Science Foundation and the AGI Foundation. Opinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Foundation.

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