The sustainability, affordability, and security of energy are topics that have attracted much attention in recent years. This attention has given rise to heated debates, innovative research projects, and billions in public and private spending.
Even though decisions regarding energy research and funding affect everyone, many people do not feel they can contribute knowledgeably to these discussions because energy is a complex topic. Fortunately, Stanford University’s new Understand Energy Learning Hub can help anyone build their energy literacy at their own pace.
Open to the public, the new website shares content from Stanford’s Understand Energy course. This course, which has been taught every fall term for more than three decades, is currently run by energy experts Justine Dachille, Diana Gragg, Kirsten Stasio, and Jane Woodward.
Due to increased interest in energy topics, the instructors began teaching the course during spring term as well as fall term in 2016. That same year, the course began running during summer term, too, primarily for high school students and international undergraduate students.
The new Learning Hub features many elements from the course, such as recorded lectures and homework assignments that consist of “essential” and “optional and useful” videos and readings. These resources are categorized into six groups:
- Introduction to Energy, which helps users gain a big picture view of energy topics.
- Why We Care About Energy, which touches on climate change, energy access, and environmental justice.
- Energy Resources, which provides a close look at fossil fuels, nuclear energy, and renewable energy.
- Energy Currencies, which considers secondary energy sources, such as electricity, natural gas, and hydrogen.
- Energy Services, which describes the use of energy in buildings and transportation.
- Tools to Manage & Sustain Energy Systems, which covers energy policy, energy storage, and carbon capture.
“We also built a handy infographics page that covers the current energy landscape and contains much macro data for the United States and the world,” says Sharon Poore, manager of the Learning Hub, in a Stanford press release. “We provide links to the instructors’ favorite resources for data, too, like the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator, as well as favorite news sites, podcasts, and conferences.”
You can learn more about the Understand Energy Learning Hub from the instructors in the video below. Explore the Learning Hub for yourself at this link.