Waves: An Alternative Energy Source

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In this data analysis and environmental science activity, learners evaluate the feasibility of wave energy as a practical alternative energy source using ocean observing system (OOS) buoys. Learners use conversions, equations, and a graph to find the LIMPET Amount and the Pelamis Power Yield to calculate the amount of electricity that these alternative systems could potentially produce at particular inshore and offshore locations. This lesson guide includes detailed background information about alternative energy and wave energy, questions with answers, and extensions.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
free per student

Age Range:
Ages 14 - adult

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per student)


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Processes
      • Weather and Climate
    • Earth Structure
      • Oceans and Water
      • Atmosphere
  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Environmental Engineering
      • Ocean Engineering
    • Technology
  • Physical Sciences
    • Electricity and Magnetism
      • Electric Charges and Currents
      • Electric Motors
    • Energy
    • Motion and Forces
      • Rotation Motion
    • Vibration and Waves
      • Wave Properties
      • Wave Motion
  • Mathematics
    • Algebra
      • Equations and Inequalities
      • Variables and Expressions
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
      • Data Representation
    • Measurement
    • Number and Operations
      • Decimals
      • Exponents
      • Multiples and Factors
    • Representation
  • The Nature of Science
    • Science and Society
      • Public Policy
    • The Scientific Process
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results
  • The Nature of Technology
    • Technology and Society
      • Impacts of Technology
      • Technology and the Environment

Informal Categories

  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • use keyboard
  • use mouse
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Uses STEM to solve real-world problems
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Petrone, Chris


Funding Sources:

  • NOAA Sea Grant
  • National Marine Educators Association