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Undecided with Matt Ferrell


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


Science, Physics, Earth and Space Sciences, Engineering

Resource Type

  • Videos, 12 minutes, 17 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus



YouTube Video

Can Underwater Turbines Work? Tidal Power Explained.

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  • In this video, host Matt Ferrell describes how underwater turbines can use tidal power to generate clean electricity. 
  • Students will learn about the pros and cons of several types of tidal turbines that are being developed and used around the world. 
Teaching Tips


  • This resource is a great way to introduce students to a type of renewable energy technology they may have never heard about.
  • The video description includes a link to a full transcript and sources.

Additional Prerequisites

  • An ad may play before the video.
  • This video has a sponsored ad that runs from 3:36 to 4:46. 
  • Students should be familiar with renewable energy and nonrenewable energy.


  • Science classes could use this video as part of a research project about types of renewable energy, or to inform an engineering design challenge. 
  • Biology classes could discuss which tidal energy solutions pose the highest and lowest risk for ecosystem disruption.
  • Other related resources include this lesson about renewable energy sources and this digital book about making energy from moving water.
Scientist Notes
This video underscores the role of tidal energy in limiting CO2 levels in the energy sector. It describes various technologies designed to harness tidal energy from tidal waves and oceans. It also explains that some of the technologies, like the barrage, hurt marine resources. The video contains the latest research on tidal power sources. This is insightful and thus, recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • MS-ETS1-1 Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.
      • 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.
    • PS3: Energy
      • HS-PS3-3 Design, build, and refine a device that works within given constraints to convert one form of energy into another form of energy.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Economics
      • D2.Eco.1.9-12 Analyze how incentives influence choices that may result in policies with a range of costs and benefits for different groups.
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