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Energy is Everywhere!

Energy is Everywhere!

Essential questions: 
Where does energy come from?
What is electricity and why it is important to us?
What is the difference between renewable and nonrenewable energy?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of renewable and nonrenewable energy sources?
What is the difference between potential energy and kinetic energy?
How can potential energy be converted into electricity?
What is the greenhouse effect?
How does our use of fossil fuels contribute to global climate change?
What can we do to reduce global climate change?

This module includes the following lessons:

Eco-101: Lesson 1: Energy All Around Us (Estimated time needed: Two 35-minute sessions)
In this lesson, students learn the difference between renewable and nonrenewable energy. They explore examples of each type of energy, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of each. Then students apply what they’ve learned by creating a model of a windmill that can convert wind—a renewable energy source—to mechanical energy. They use the windmill to accomplish work, and then they experiment with and reflect upon ways in which we can take advantage of renewable energy resources.

Eco-Activity: Lesson 2: Citrus Power! (Estimated time needed: Two 40-minute sessions
In this lesson, students learn about two forms of energy: kinetic and potential. After distinguishing between the two forms in several photo examples, they use a fun kinesthetic activity to model potential and kinetic energy. Then, by investigating whether several different types of citrus fruits can light a small LED, students explore how potential energy can be converted to kinetic energy to create electricity. The Extend activities get students thinking about and brainstorming alternative energy sources that could solve energy issues in the future.

Eco-Activity: Lesson 3: Solar Boxes: (Estimated time needed: 50 minutes)
In this lesson, students learn about the greenhouse effect and how excessive greenhouse warming on a global scale is affecting weather patterns around the world. They create solar boxes to simulate normal and excessive greenhouse effects and discuss how temperature is dependent upon environmental conditions. Students also explore how human activities that generate energy have contributed to these changes and how limiting our use of fossil fuels and promoting alternative energies can help address this problem. The lesson ends with students detailing and sharing ways we can all help reverse climate change for a more sustainable future.