Electricity is the flow of electrical power or charge. It is a secondary energy source which means that we get it from the conversion of other sources of energy, like coal, natural gas, oil, nuclear power and other natural sources, which are called primary sources. The energy sources we use to make electricity can be […]


ELECTRICITY TRAVELS IN CIRCUITS Electricity travels in closed loops, or circuits (from the word circle). It must have a complete path before the electrons can move. If a circuit is open, the electrons cannot flow. When we flip on a light switch, we close a circuit. The electricity flows from the electric wire through the […]

Natural Gas

A Fossil Fuel HOW NATURAL GAS WAS FORMED Millions of years ago, the remains of plants and animals decayed and built up in thick layers. This decayed matter from plants and animals is called organic material — it was once alive. Over time, the mud and soil changed to rock, covered the organic material and […]


A Fossil Fuel HOW OIL WAS FORMED Oil was formed from the remains of animals and plants that lived millions of years ago in a marine (water) environment before the dinosaurs. Over the years, the remains were covered by layers of mud. Heat and pressure from these layers helped the remains turn into what we […]


NUCLEAR ENERGY IS ENERGY FROM ATOMS Nuclear energy is energy in the nucleus (core) of an atom. Atoms are tiny particles that make up every object in the universe. There is enormous energy in the bonds that hold atoms together. Nuclear energy can be used to make electricity. But first the energy must be released. […]


Energy from Moving Water HYDROPOWER GENERATES ELECTRICITY Of the renewable energy sources that generate electricity, hydropower is the most often used. It accounted for 7 percent of total U.S. electricity generation and 75 percent of generation from renewables. The Water Cycle It is one of the oldest sources of energy and was used thousands of […]

Geothermal Energy

Energy from the Earth’s Core The word geothermal comes from the Greek words geo (earth) and therme (heat). THE EARTH’S INTERIOR On May 18, 1980, Mt. St. Helens, an active volcano in Washington, erupted (leave this site to see a picture), providing a vivid display of the energy contained within the Earth. Most volcanic activity […]

Solar Energy

ENERGY FROM THE SUN The sun has produced energy for billions of years. Solar energy is the solar radiation that reaches the earth. Solar energy can be converted directly or indirectly into other forms of energy, such as heat and electricity. The major drawbacks (problems, or issues to overcome) of solar energy are: (1) the […]

Wind Energy

Energy from Moving Air ENERGY FROM WIND Wind is simple air in motion. It is caused by the uneven heating of the earth’s surface by the sun. Since the earth’s surface is made of very different types of land and water, it absorbs the sun’s heat at different rates. During the day, the air above […]

BIOMASS — Renewable Energy

FROM PLANT AND ANIMAL MATTER Biomass is organic material made from plants and animals. Biomass contains stored energy from the sun. Plants absorb the sun’s energy in a process called photosynthesis. The chemical energy in plants gets passed on to animals and people that eat them. Biomass is a renewable energy source because we can […]