Lesson 8: Energy: We're All Connected-
Energy Knowledge into Action
In this lesson, students examine the personal and collective, direct and indirect aspects of energy use and the implications of energy use in terms of sustainability and overall impact on our planet. They deepen their understanding of energy through the examination of renewable and nonrenewable energy sources. Finally, students put their energy knowledge into action through the development of a culminating display intended to makes others aware of the pervasive connections people have to energy and its use.
- There are a growing number of energy “users” – processes, products, and people that have dramatically increased the energy demands put on the planet.
- Some energy sources are renewable and some energy sources are nonrenewable.
- It’s everyone’s responsibility to use energy efficiently or wisely. Conservation of energy is linked to our use of natural resources, which impacts our environment, economy, and national security.
- see their individual roles in global energy use.
- recognize that energy use changes as countries become more industrialized.
- discover the interconnectedness of their energy demands on energy resources.
- identify and describe steps that can be taken to conserve energy and reasons for doing so.
- create a product that will make others aware of an individual’s connections to energy and actions for conserving energy.
Download Lesson Plan (14 pages, 664 KB)
Student Handout 8.1: A Washing Machine's Energy Pathway (1 page, 396 KB)
Student Handout 8.2: Evaluating Energy Sources (1 page, 400 KB)
Student Handout 8.3: The Energy Connection Project Guidelines and Sample Rubric (2 pages, 502 KB)
“A Day in the Life of Terese”
Identify “ordinary” items around the school and create engaging “posters” using Comic Life describing the energy connections to the ordinary item and energy. The poster would offer tips related to conservation, efficiency, and wise use energy. For example, posters could be developed to and be placed near light switches, water fountains, recycling bins, near doors or windows, next to computers, in cafeterias to promote buying locally grown foods, etc.
Explore different scenarios with the Challenger Center's Carbon/Temperature model to investigate what events are contributing to the greatest shifts in the Earth's climate.
Be inspired to take action! Young Voices on Climate Change is a film series featuring young people who are making a difference in their community and making it clear that you too can do something about global warming.
Take the “It’s Up2me for kids” challenge. Learn how to initiate change in their school or community by taking one of several challenges outlined on the Up2me site. Learn how to reduce waste, energy use, car travel and water use. Ideas about how to grow food and take care of the biodiversity of around the home and school environment.
Visit the Alliance for Climate Education's page to learn the science behind climate change and to get involved in doing something about it.
Learn simple measures you can take to conserve energy.
Participate in NEED’s Great Energy Debate. Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of the major energy sources in an innovative debate format.
Investigate the history of energy and view Earth's Energy Timeline.
Plan for an Energy Fair. Determine a purpose for holding an Energy Fair. Who would be the audience? Where and when would it take place? What types of displays would be included? What community groups, individuals, and/or businesses can be elicited for help?
Compare the energy use in terms of kWh and oil of various household devices and receive tips on ways to optimize the way energy is used for these devices. This interactive tutorial accompanies PBS’s Frontline episode “What’s up with the Weather” and includes carbon dioxide emissions.
Connections to Maine Agencies
A Maine Energy Education Representative Program (MEEP) representative will come to interested schools, free of charge, to guide and support the concepts in this lesson:
- The Great Energy Debate Game (grades 4-12). What are the pros and cons of renewable versus nonrenewable resources? In this debate, students take on the real world challenge of convincing others that a particular energy source is the best choice for their situation.
- Coal-Fired Power Plant Activity. Students learn how electricity is made in a power plant and discuss the pros and cons of using coal. They discover alternative ways to spin a turbine to run a generator.
For schools in Aroostook County, a Maine Public Service (MPS) representative will come to interested schools, free of charge, to guide and support the concepts developed in this lesson.