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MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Chemistry, Physics, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Types

  • Podcasts, 14 minutes, 6 seconds
  • Lesson Plans
  • Experiments
  • Worksheets
  • Videos, 8 minutes, 6 seconds, CC
  • Interactive Media
  • Charts, Graphs, and Tables

Regional Focus




Hydrogen Energy and Climate Change

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  • This lesson about hydrogen energy covers many topics including how it is produced, how batteries and fuel cells work, and where hydrogen fuel cells could replace fossil fuels.
  • The lesson includes teacher pages and resources, student worksheets, a podcast, readings, map analyses, an experiment (with instructional video), data research, reading comprehension questions, and discussion questions.
Teaching Tips


  • The resource includes all teaching materials, an educator's guide on how to use the activities, resources for your own better understanding, and additional discussion questions.
  • Each activity can be used as a standalone or in sequence.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Each activity is an extension of the podcast episode, so students should listen to the episode before completing any activity.
  • If printing each activity page uses too much ink, printing text pages in grayscale and having students share or view colored versions of the diagrams/maps online may be best.
  • The podcast episode and the data research section require access to the internet.
  • Before listening to the podcast, students should be familiar with chemical compounds, renewable energy, and the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions on the climate.


  • This resource can also be used in language arts classes during lessons on communicating complex scientific concepts.
  • The first activity can be used in social studies and geography classes to analyze maps and determine why more hydrogen energy is not used in areas with significant potential for renewable energy.
  • It is important to note that most of the lesson (aside from the podcast episode) focuses on the potential for hydrogen energy and not on the social and economic feasibility of using it, which are both critical factors to consider and could be explored in an economics or social studies class.
  • The last activity focuses on replacing fossil fuels with hydrogen energy, but an important consideration is whether hydrogen power should be used if it is less efficient than just using electricity generated from renewables and whether the answer to that question changes based on the industry or sector.
  • Have students research the top climate solutions, as assessed by Project Drawdown, to see if this solution is one that should be focused on or if other solutions might be more impactful.
Scientist Notes
In this resource, the topic of hydrogen energy is covered, along with its use in the transportation and energy sectors, as well as its advantages for the environment. There is no scientific misconceptions and this resource is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Science
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • HS-ETS1-3. Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
    • PS2: Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions
      • HS-PS2-6. Communicate scientific and technical information about why the molecular-level structure is important in the functioning of designed materials.
  • Mathematics
    • Statistics & Probability: Making Inferences & Justifying Conclusions (9-12)
      • HSS.IC.B.6(+) Evaluate reports based on data (e.g., interrogate study design, data sources, randomization, the way the data are analyzed and displayed, inferences drawn and methods used; identify and explain misleading uses of data; recognize when arguments based on data are flawed).
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