What is Energy?

"Take an energy excursion through the world of energy, and how we plan to energize the future."


This lesson provides an introduction to energy and power, including the basic defining concepts of the two and how they are measured. The lesson also gives an introduction to primary energy versus secondary energy, as well as energy/electricity production in the United States today. Students are asked to review several relevant charts and address various review questions to strengthen their understanding and graph-reading skills. Topic pages seek to differentiate energy and power, addressing the common misconception that they are the same. Energy consumption also serves as a focal point of the lesson, and topic pages include energy impacts to standard of living, economic growth, and the environment, such as increasing CO2 emissions. 

Learning Outcomes 

  • Students will become familiar with the basics of energy and power 
    • What is the definition of energy/power? 
    • What are units of measurement for energy? 
    • What are units of measurement for power? 
    • How much does a BTU cost? 
  • Students will be able to distinguish between primary and secondary energy sources 
    • What primary energy sources are produced in the United States today? 
    • What resources are used for secondary energy sources, primarily generation of electricity, in the United States today? 
  • Students will be introduced to the process of generating heat power for electricity generation 
    • How is chemical energy converted into heat power? 
  • Introduction to energy consumption 
    • What are the impacts of energy consumption on standard of living? 
    • What are the impacts of energy consumption on economic growth? 
    • What are the impacts of energy consumption on the environment? 
Oklahoma Academic Standards
TEKS Standards
College Board Units and Topics
Next Generation Science Standards