Lesson Overview: In this lesson, students become more aware of their energy use by conducting a home energy survey. They answer questions to learn about appliances and air leaks in the home. Students will also discuss ways to save energy and develop a plan to start saving energy at home.
Time: Approximately 30 minutes
Vocabulary: energy, thermostat, temperature, drafts, appliance, insulated, incandescent
People use energy without thinking about it all day. They turn on appliances and walk through rooms every day without a thought to where the electricity comes from, or how much they are using. The Home Energy Survey and Energy Checklist are ways to make the students aware of what they are using throughout the day.
Write the question, “Where have you used energy today?” on the board. Have the students make a list of all the energy using devices they have used. You may want to start with energy use since the start of the school day or since lunch for younger students. Prompt them to list more as you go through a typical day.
Send the Home Energy Survey home with the students to fill out with an adult as they go about their day. This will reinforce the starter activity as there may be many more appliances that they had not thought of.
The following day have the students compare their surveys in groups. Have the group brainstorm ways they could use less energy based on their lists. Have each student write an essay on three ways they could change their day to use less energy based on the brainstorming of the group.
Send the Energy Checklist home with the students to fill out with an adult. This checklist gives their home an energy score based on items around the house.
The following day discuss ways some of these scores could be easily changed. Some examples of things to do include:
Have students do the energy checklist in parts of your school building. Make a presentation to the principal, energy manager and school board about what they found and ways they could make the building more energy efficient.