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6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Engineering

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YouTube Video

Hydrogen: Is Sustainable Air Travel Possible?

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  • This video explains how airplanes produce a large portion of global greenhouse gas emissions and what can be done to make them more sustainable.
  • Students will learn why airplanes cannot be powered by batteries and how hydrogen fuel might be a sustainable alternative in the distant future.

Teaching Tips


  • The video is short and engaging.
  • The video clearly explains why planes cannot be powered by electricity.
  • The video description provides links to several sources for further reading.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The video assumes that students know the fundamental cause of global warming and climate change.
  • Students can watch this video from ClimateScience that explains what is causing climate change.
  • To eliminate emissions from the aviation industry, there is no other scalable alternative other than to stop flying.


  • Science or engineering students could research Airbus's plans to produce zero-emissions planes and present their findings to the class.
  • Students could brainstorm alternatives to air travel, which are friendlier to the atmosphere.
  • For excellent infographics and information on the true cost of flying, students can read this text from Stay Grounded.
  • Students could read about folks who have given up flying, like Gideon Forman and Peter Kalmus.
Scientist Notes
The resource introduces the potential of using a hydrogen-powered aircraft to reduce carbon footprint in the aviation industry. This technology is still undergoing testing. The resource is suitable and recommended to inspire students to innovate.

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

  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-3. Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
      • HS-ESS3-2. Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.
      • HS-ESS3-4. Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • HS-ETS1-1. Analyze a major global challenge to specify qualitative and quantitative criteria and constraints for solutions that account for societal needs and wants.
      • 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.
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