This interactive map shows the location of current geothermal power plants as well as potential geothermal sites in the United States and Puerto Rico.
Students can use the map layers to compare geothermal potential to other energy sources such as fossil fuels and uranium.
Students can search for and zoom in on a specific neighborhood.
Students can click on the geothermal power plants to learn more about them.
Layers can be manipulated using the double arrow icon and the layers icon, both of which are located at the top right-hand corner of the screen.
Students should be familiar with geothermal energy. This video provides background information on the topic.
Social studies and economics classes could compare geothermal potential to actual geothermal power plants and discuss why geothermal power plants exist in only a small region of the United States while the potential for geothermal power exists in a variety of regions.
Science classes could do research to find out how scientists know where geothermal reservoirs are located.
Other resources on this topic include this video about geothermal energy in Iceland, this TED video on using existing fossil fuel infrastructure to produce geothermal energy, and this article on renewable energy.
Geothermal energy is a truly unlimited, renewable resource. This interactive map shows where current geothermal power plants are in operation. It also shows where there are areas more and less favorable for geothermal energy production. This resource is recommended for teaching.
Science and Engineering
ESS2: Earth’s Systems
HS-ESS2-3 Develop a model based on evidence of Earth’s interior to describe the cycling of matter by thermal convection.
ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
HS-ESS3-1 Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.
HS-ESS3-3 Create a computational simulation to illustrate the relationships among management of natural resources, the sustainability of human populations, and biodiversity.
HS-ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.