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Energy Sources Then and Now

We had fewer sources of energy in my day then you have today.

Let's take a look at today's sources of energy. All of these sources are used in California. Other states or countries might not have all of these energy sources.

After, we'll play a word game to match them up to the sources in my time.

Moving or falling water can be used to make electricity, called hydro power. The water turns wheels that run machines called turbines and generators. These machines use the moving water to make electricity.

The center of the earth is made up of rock so hot that it's melted. This heat sometimes makes underground water boil. When this hot water of steam comes up through a crack in the earth, we call it a geyser. When the steam is used to generate electricity,it's called geothermal energy.

The sun warms the earth and gives us light. The sun's energy can be captured and used directly in a solar cell, or changed into steam for making electricity, heating homes or heating water.

Wind, like the sun, is one of the oldest kinds of energy used by people. When the wind blows against big blades on windmills, the movement of the spinning blades can pump water or produce electricity.

Nuclear power plants run on uranium, an atomic fuel that when split gives off heat to boil water and make steam. The steam then turns turbines which make electricity.

Fossil Fuels
Fossil fuels like oil, natural gas and coal are usually found under the ground or ocean. We must drill of dig deep into the earth to uncover them. The fuels are used to make heat, electricity and other products like gasoline.

Now that we've found out about the energy sources of today, let's play a little game. MATCH the energy source the way it was used in my time with the name it's called today.

  Clotheslines and clothespins for drying clothes.

___ ___ ___ ___ ___
(5 letters)

 Oil lamps and coal fires.

___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ - - ___ ___ ___ ___ ___
(two words: 6 letters and 5 letters)

 Water wheels for grinding grain.

___ ___ ___ ___ ___
(5 letters)

 Natural outdoor hot springs.

___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___
(10 letters)

 Windmills for pumping water.

___ ___ ___ ___
(4 letters)

There's one more energy source used today that wasn't used 250 years ago -- because it wasn't discovered yet!

Name it: ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___ ___
(7 letters)

Let's go back to Poor Richard's Energy Almanac to learn more about energy.

Click on my picture to take you back.

Return to Poor Richard's Energy Almanac.

Or if you want to go back to the Energy Quest HomePage, click on the EQ.

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Page updated: May 1, 2002
© 2006 California Energy Commission. All rights reserved.