Science - 2017-18

ES.6 - Energy

The student will investigate and understand the differences between renewable and nonrenewable resources. Key concepts include
a) fossil fuels, minerals, rocks, water, and vegetation;
b) advantages and disadvantages of various energy sources;
c) resources found in Virginia; and
d) environmental costs and benefits.

Bloom's Levels:  Analyze; Understand

Adopted: 2010


  • Radiation, conduction, and convection transfer energy through Earth's systems.
  • Minerals are essential materials for human life.
  • The state of Virginia is rich in geologic history and natural resources.

  • I can choose a method of heating my home based on cost and environmental impact.


  • Resources are limited and are either renewable or nonrenewable.
  • There are advantages and disadvantages to using any energy source.
  • Virginia has many natural resources.
  • Modern living standards are supported by extensive use of both renewable and nonrenewable resources.
  • Extraction and use of any resource carries an environmental cost that must be weighed against economic benefit.
  • Renewable resources can be replaced by nature at a rate close to the rate at which they are used. Renewable resources include vegetation, sunlight, and surface water. 
  • Nonrenewable resources are replenished very slowly or not at all. Nonrenewable resources include coal, oil, and minerals. 
  • Fossil fuels are nonrenewable and may cause pollution, but they are relatively cheap and easy to use once they are extracted. 
  • In Virginia, major rock and mineral resources include coal for energy, gravel and crushed stone for road construction, silica for electronics, zirconium and titanium for advanced metallurgy, and limestone for making concrete. 
  • Clean water resources, while renewable, are directly impacted by human activity through extraction and pollution.


In order to meet this standard, it is expected that students will

a) analyze the formation of fossil fuels in terms of the rock cycle and Plate Tectonics Theory, and relate the formation of fossil fuels to ancient biologic and atmospheric conditions and changes and locations within Virginia.

     determine the sources of clean water in their community and analyze consumption and supply data.

b) analyze the advantages and disadvantages of various energy sources.

     analyze a range of emerging energy and mineral resources in Virginia in terms of costs and benefits.

c) analyze how Virginia’s production and use of various natural resources has changed over time. Define and cite differences over time especially in the last 150 years.

     evaluate Virginia’s potential as a producer of renewable energy sources.

d)  assess the role of fossil fuels and renewable energy sources in the future and compare and contrast the environmental benefits and costs among the various options.


fuel, energy transformation, combustion, fossil fuel, hydrocarbon, petroleum, refinery, petrochemical, solar energy, hydroelectric power, biomass fuel, gaohol, geothermal energy, nucleus, nuclear fission, reactor vessel, fuel rod, control rod, meltdown, nuclear fusion, efficiency, insulation, energy conservation

Updated: Nov 28, 2017