Online College Courses for Credit

Powering the Planet: Renewable Energy

Powering the Planet: Renewable Energy

Author: Saradhia Voltaire

On this virtual field trip the students will join scientist Alex Wegmann embark on a Virtual Field Trip to explore the question: How can we get the energy we need without harming nature? On this journey, we’ll visit the Palmyra Atoll and discover how Scientists there have developed ways to power the entire island through the use of renewable energy sources. We’ll also journey to Mojave Desert  to check out massive solar panel installations that are working to power large cities. The objective of this virtual trip is for students to: Learn about innovative methods for capturing energy that are safe, sustainable, and can change the destiny of life on our planet.

See More
Fast, Free College Credit

Developing Effective Teams

Let's Ride
*No strings attached. This college course is 100% free and is worth 1 semester credit.

47 Sophia partners guarantee credit transfer.

299 Institutions have accepted or given pre-approval for credit transfer.

* The American Council on Education's College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE Credit®) has evaluated and recommended college credit for 33 of Sophia’s online courses. Many different colleges and universities consider ACE CREDIT recommendations in determining the applicability to their course and degree programs.


Powering the Planet: Renewable Energy

Powering the Planet: Renewable Energy Discussion Questions

1. List at least two ways we get the energy to power our lives.
2. In the virtual field trip, Dr. Alex Wegmann talked about the importance of the bird guano to the ecosystem. Describe the role that guano plays on Palmyra Atoll.
3. Why is Palmyra a perfect place to study how a marine ecosystem responds to climate change?
4. What is the difference between renewable and nonrenewable resources? Provide examples of each.
6. Why was it necessary to install both solar panels and a wind turbine on the atoll?
7. What is the relationship between fossil fuels and carbon dioxide
8. What is an important chemical component of solar cell (also known as a photovoltaic cell)?
9. Describe what happens when a photon (a packet of light energy from the sun) hits a solar cell.
10. How does concentrating solar power (CSP) differ from photovoltaic cells? 11. How do fossil fuels contribute to climate change?
12. How do engineers and scientists decide where to locate solar facilities?
13. In the United States (in 2015) how much electric power was generated from renewable resources?
14. What are some ways the students and other people can help to make a difference when it comes to energy

Source: We are Teachers: NATURE LAB: EDUCATOR RESOURCES FOR K-12 CURRICULUM: Virtual Field Trips


1. Go on the Virtual field trip....enjoy

2. Take the simple quiz

3. In your journals complete the 14 discussion given by the video Powering The Planet: Renewable Energy