When the house feels cold in the winter, I turn up the thermostat. But not without a twinge of guilt. I know that at the touch of a button on the little white control box, a furnace hidden somewhere around the house starts huffing and puffing. To churn out hot air it guzzles electricity, which is unfortunately neither renewable nor environmentally friendly: most electricity is made in power plants from coal or natural gas. Burning any of these materials releases toxins into the air. These in turn contribute to raising temperatures and air pollution levels all over the world.
The Smithsonian Science Education Center is proud to celebrate another successful year of sponsoring and hosting the 2014 Smithsonian Science Education Academies for Teachers. Last week, the SSEC wrapped up Energy: Past, Present, Future--an academy dedicated to understanding the history of energy production, the current state of energy needs, and future technologies to enhance energy efficiency and conservation.