Keep Your Cool Naturally

Understanding Energy Staying cool takes energy. There is energy in creating cool air, through electricity. Being unintentional about your energy use is a waste of energy. Not only does this waste money, but it wastes energy, which is made from natural resources. Natural resources are things that the earth supplies us with, such as rocks,[…]

Who’s Who in Electricity?

Background Information: All students know about the contributions of Thomas Edison and Benjamin Franklin to the study of electricity. What about the contributions of Louis Howard Latimer? Students use watt, volt, and amp when studying electricity, but do not know about the contributions of James Watt, Alessandro Volta and André-Marie Ampere. This lesson will allow your students to do some further research into the people that contributed to the field of electricity. Setting the[…]

Utility Bill Organizer

Background Information: We use energy for everything and could not make it through a single day without it. But we rarely even think about how much we use, what kinds of energy there are, the cost, or the pollution consequences. The place to start is by adding up our own household energy use and comparing it to the national average. A simple[…]

The Pay Me Game

Background Information: Students have a hard time understanding how much energy they are using if it is not tied to dollar amounts. They know how much a candy bar, a pair of shoes or a movie ticket costs. In this lesson they will use play energy money to learn some of the dollar amounts attached to a shower, the refrigerator or their[…]

Meter Reading

Background Information: To read your meter first identify if you have an analog or digital meter. An analog meter will have multiple faces on it, similar to a clock or watch face, while a digital meter will flash numbers, similar to how a phone shows time. Regardless of the type of meter you have, meter reading[…]

How Much Energy Do You Use?

Background Information: U.S. residents use more energy now than we ever have in the past. There are many reasons for this. As more people populate the country, energy needs rise. Technology advances, such as industrial processes, sophisticated machinery and computers also require increased energy. Our everyday lives are filled with electrical appliances that our grandparents never used. This activity gives your students a[…]

Home Energy Survey

Background Information: 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. Setting the Stage: Write the question,[…]

Energy Trip Ticket

Background Information: Students use energy every day without thinking about where it comes from, how it arrives or even that they are using it. This activity will help to make students aware of their energy usage by making them “pay” for each energy trip they make throughout the day. This activity will also get students thinking about ways they can conserve or eliminate[…]

Energy Conservation vs. Energy Efficiency: What’s the Difference?

Background Information: Energy shortages and gas lines of the 1970’s, wearing sweaters as a kid instead of turning up the heat, and sleeping on the porch where it was cooler are all graphic examples of what most Americans think of when they hear the word energy conservation. Conservation is linked to sacrifice in many minds. The definition we give students in the Watt[…]

Cost-Effective Buying

Background Information: When we feel compelled to buy a more fashionable garment or a computer, game console, or boat, we do so with satisfaction in the knowledge that the purchase will enrich our lives. We buy labor-saving appliances because they will minimize our work and give us more time for other activities (e.g. leisure). Consider the motivational factors for purchasing an “energy-saving” heating or cooling system. One might name[…]