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Energy Lesson Plans and Curricula
ACE has partnered up with NEED (National Energy Education Development Project) to bring you the very best energy education lesson plans around. Interested in ACE’s Unplugged contest? Want to give your students some classroom credit for all those energy audits they’re doing? Also check out our Climate Lesson plans page.
3 ways to bring energy education into the classroom:
1. Reading assignment: NEED Secondary Energy Infobook
This is great background reading material on all energy sources and uses. Pages 56-68 focus on electricity generation, transmission, and usage. Check out pages 72-77 for reading on energy conservation and efficiency. This is a great reading assignment for homework prior to introducing an enor any classroom discussion about electricity.
2. Short activity: Plug Loads
In this 1-2 class period activity, students explore ways to save energy at school by investigating electricity consumption of appliances in the classroom.
3. 7-day unit: Learning and Conserving
This unit from NEED provides students with comprehensive information on energy consumption, its economic and environmental effects, and energy conservation and efficiency thorugh a series of activites that involve hands-on learning, monitoring energy use and changing behaviors.
ACE's Unplugged contest can be easily incorporated into this unit in place of the School Energy Consumption Survey. Some basic materials are required for this unit, including a Kill-a-watt meter. The Learning and Conserving unit is divided into 2 separate PDFs - a Teacher Guide and a Student Guide.
Want to teach about energy in your class but don't know where to start? Download the NEED Blueprint for Success, a step-by-step guide to using NEED's great resources to customize your own energy unit. Or check out some of ACE's recommendations for fun energy lesson plans below.
- Power Source – In this introductory activity from CLEAN, students create a “concept sketch,” sketching out where they think their electricity comes from, tracing it all the way back to the source. Start with a regular 110-volt electrical socket and work back from there. Sketch should include short descriptions to go with each concept.
- EPA's Power Profiler - An online tool to tell you where your electricity comes from. Just put in your ZIP code and see!
- Energy Source Expo (PDF) – Students work in groups to design a display on a certain type of energy use or energy conservation tactic for a class expo.
- Energy Jeopardy (PDF) – Great game format for some pretty tough questions on energy sources and uses
- Energy Rock Band (PDF) – In groups, students form a band and write a rock song about one particular source of energy. Students then perform their song for the class. Very fun!