The Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford University and KQED, public media for Northern California, have created a two-part e-book series on energy for iPads and Mac computers. Primarily targeted at grades 8 to 13, the interactive Energy iBooks Textbooks are designed to give readers a broad introduction to the subject of energy.
The two-volume series can be downloaded free of charge from the iBooks Store. Volume one, Energy: The Basics, investigates the nature of energy and energy resources. The 55-page book is divided into two chapters: "The Science of Energy" and "Energy Resources." Volume two, Energy: Use and Efficiency, explores how people use energy, from generating electricity to developing energy-efficient technologies. The 40-page book is divided into three chapters: "Human Energy Use," "Electricity" and "The Grid and Energy Efficiency." A companion iTunes U course can also be downloaded for classroom or informal education use.
"Energy is one of the most important, yet least understood, challenges facing humanity," said Sally Benson, director of the Precourt Institute for Energy. "Promoting energy literacy is a central part of our mission. We are delighted to have the opportunity to combine our expertise in this field with that of KQED in science media to develop a truly engaging, in-depth resource about one of the most vital topics of our time."
In addition to animations, in-depth articles and a glossary of energy terms, the Energy e-books feature videos produced by KQED and Stanford on geothermal energy, the solar-power industry and other topics. Career-spotlight videos also give students a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the diversity of jobs available in the renewable-energy industry.
KQED, the San Francisco-based PBS and NPR affiliate, has published three other science-related Multi-Touch books in addition to Energy.
"KQED is committed to using cutting-edge media and technical tools to create resources for both formal and informal teaching and learning," said Tim Olson, KQED vice president of digital media and education. "As iPads become more prevalent in the classroom, expanding our Multi-Touch science book collection is another way for us to distribute our relevant education content to teachers and students in an interactive, easy-to-navigate package."
The Energy e-books and their companion iTunes U course can be downloaded at: itunes.com/kqed
This article was written by Mark Shwartz, Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford University.