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


Science, Engineering

Resource Type

  • Videos, 2 minutes, 35 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus



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.
  • 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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