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Energy Eco-Audit

Energy Eco-Audit

Essential questions: 
How does our school compare to other schools around the world in terms of energy conservation?
Why should we think about the energy efficiency of our school?
Where is our school the most energy efficient? The least?
What can we collectively do to improve energy efficiency on campus?
Can students conducting an energy eco-audit truly help improve the school?
What are key strategies for implementing energy conservation measures on campus?
How does an eco-audit create opportunities for leadership and citizenship?

Estimated total time needed: Ten 55-minute class periods.

This module contains the following lessons:

Lesson 1: Eco-Action: School Energy Eco-Audit: Exploring (Estimated time needed: Two 55-minute class periods)
This lesson begins with an introduction to green schools and a discussion about the benefits of a campus energy audit. Then students investigate how energy is used in and around the school. They document appliances and fixtures that consume energy on campus, collect information from school energy bills, and begin formulating questions and thinking about ways to improve campus energy management.

Lesson 2: Eco-Action: School Energy Eco-Audit: Analyzing (Estimated time needed: Two 55-minute class periods)
In this lesson, students use the data they gathered in Lesson 1 to note trends in the way energy is used on campus. They do research and interview campus personnel to find answers to questions and to address gaps in their data. Then they analyze the data they’ve gathered, reflect on its importance, and begin considering ideas for improving energy use on campus.

Lesson 3: Eco-Action: School Energy Eco-Audit: Wrapping Up (Estimated time needed: Three 55-minute class periods)
In this lesson, students synthesize their data and ideas from Lesson 2. They share their results with the class and evaluate the effectiveness of the eco-audit. Students strategize as a class and then work in small groups to plan how to recommend and promote progressive changes to more effectively manage energy resources on campus.

Lesson 4: Eco-Action: Energy Data Is Beautiful! (Estimated time needed: Three 55-minute class periods)
In this lesson, students learn how to communicate their campus energy management recommendations to administrators, the student body, and beyond. They learn strategies for presenting data in interesting, relevant, and visually appealing ways, such as through infographics. Then students take the information they collected and analyzed in Lessons 1–3 and create a plan for communicating their recommendations to campus administrators, parents, students, and others. Finally, students execute their plans by writing letters to administrators, creating a showcase presentation of their findings, writing and performing public service announcements, and implementing concrete student action plans.