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Energy in Action

Energy in Action

Essential questions: 
What is energy?
What are some examples of different forms of energy?
How is energy important in our everyday lives?
How much energy is present in different kinds of objects, like hot ones and cold ones?
How does heat energy cause molecules to move, rise, and expand?
What are “Energy Vampires”?
Where can we conserve energy?
What are some benefits of saving electricity?
How can I help my community conserve energy?

MODULE OVERVIEW: (Estimated total time needed: About 170 minutes)

This module includes the following lessons:

Lesson 1: Eco-101: Light, Heat, Sound, ACTION! (Estimated time needed: Two 30-minute sessions)
In this lesson, students approach the topic of energy as junior scientists. They discuss key questions about energy via a stimulating presentation, learning the fundamentals about energy as well as the value of asking questions and wondering about the world. Then students classify objects and pictures by three key types of energy: light, heat, and sound. Next, they take action to further distinguish the similarities among and differences between light, heat, and sound energy via kinesthetic exercises.

Lesson 2: Eco-Activity: Heat It Up (Estimated time needed: Two 30-minute sessions)
In this lesson, students explore scientific concepts to build their awareness of energy in the world around them, especially heat energy. In the first session, students use their bodies in a fun, physical activity to model how matter behaves on a molecular level when heat is applied. In the second session, they witness two teacher demonstrations about the behavior of heat energy. They act as scientists to predict, observe, and draw conclusions about what happens and why. Then students reflect on how the concepts they’ve learned relate to the ways they use and can conserve heat energy in their personal lives.

Lesson 3: Eco-Action: Energy Avengers (Estimated time needed: 50 minutes plus additional time for a wider campaign, if desired)
In this lesson, students apply what they’ve learned about energy by assuming the role of Energy Avengers and hunting down Energy Vampires. They learn that Energy Vampires are at work any time energy is wasted, such as when a light switch is left on or an appliance is left plugged in even when it is not in use. Students identify Energy Vampires in the classroom; then they move on to other classrooms and their homes, armed with secret weapons in the form of signs they can use to help build energy awareness far and wide.