Parents and Educators: find resources for at-home and distance learning

6

30 minutes
5

Kindergarten / 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12
Environmental Education

Green school (n): a school building or facility that creates a healthy environment that is conducive to learning while saving energy, resources and money.

Whether you are a parent, teacher, school staff member, student, or community volunteer, you want your school to provide a healthy, welcoming place to learn. The important effort of running greener schools needs action from everyone in the school community, and sometimes the scale of the task can make it hard to know where the start. Follow these 12 simple priority actions from the Center for Green Schools to help make your school healthy, efficient, comfortable and environmentally responsible.

This lesson provides resources and suggestions of actions to make your school a green school. Included Action Checklists:

1: Find your superstars
2: Ready, set – wait, which bin do I put this in?
3: What’s a watt?
4: Go behind the scenes
5: Put the kids in charge
6: Hey, what’s this thing do?
7: You are what you eat…and recycle, throw away and compost…
8: Let the Sun Shine In
9: You know it’s dust, but what IS it?
10: No really, what is that smell?
11: Lights out!
12: Carpooling – jump in, the water’s fine!

Checklists include:
- First steps to getting started
- Resources to support your actions
- Related lessons in Learning Lab to dive deeper into topics

180 minutes
0

6 / 7 / 8
Reading or Language Arts

Students use their school and/or community as the context for learning about the Commons. They explore what defines a Commons, categorize spaces and things as examples, and walk their community to discover its visible and hidden Commons. Finally, students select one Commons to focus on, and create a “State of the Commons” report as a way of increasing school and/or community awareness about the Commons.

100 minutes
0

5 / 6 / 7 / 8
Science

In this lesson, students explore the ways in which humans use hydropower to fuel society. First, they learn how we harness hydropower to generate electricity, and then they build a hydropaddle to simulate a turbine. Next, they examine the pros and cons of hydropower by choosing an issue, conducting an investigative analysis to discover a story of real-life impact, and sharing that story with the class. Students also reflect upon why facts alone are often not enough to communicate the importance of sustainability issues; asking questions and doing research can often lead to surprising changes in perspective and new understandings.

150 minutes
0

6 / 7 / 8
Science

In this lesson, students learn about alternatives to fossil-fuel energy resources. They take on a challenge from the community’s “mayor” to serve on an Energy Task Force and research whether the most common alternative energy resources are appropriate for their community. Working in groups, they research five alternative energy sources and present their findings to the mayor. Then the groups evaluate the experience and the implications that each of these technologies has for both their local community and the larger global community.

90 minutes
0

6 / 7 / 8
Mathematics, Science

In this lesson, students learn that framing our energy habits and choices in terms of a “carbon footprint” can help us understand our individual impact on the global environment. They conduct a personal eco-audit to investigate how their own energy usage results in carbon being released into the atmosphere. After tracking their habits for one 24-hour period, students calculate their personal carbon footprint and then compare the results to averages for other countries and communities. As students frame their choices in a global context and come to understand the importance of making sustainable choices for a healthier future, they also look for ways to support each other and create exciting and innovative changes for the future.

100 minutes
0

5 / 6
Civics and Government, Science

In this lesson, students learn that nuclear energy is powerful enough to send a robot on a scientific mission millions of kilometers (miles) away and to supply large amounts of electricity on Earth with minimal impacts on natural resources. They also learn that harnessing the power of the atom has consequences—some very serious and long-term consequences. Rather than telling students what to think about the issue, the lesson encourages students to research the topic and then debate their peers. The lesson concludes with a discussion designed to help students synthesize their thoughts on the topic.

50 minutes
0

6
Science

This lesson begins with students learning about natural resources that humans either dig (such as coal) or pump (such oil or natural gas) from the Earth’s crust. Students discuss why these resources are so valuable to us and why we tolerate the many adverse side effects of extracting and using them. They then discuss how renewable energy sources are being used as alternatives in many areas around the world. Next, students simulate a mining experience by digging into a chocolate chip cookie. The experience leads to a rich discussion about safety, fines, rewards, and reclamation.

30 minutes
0

6 / 7 / 8
Engineering

By now students have collected a drawing or photograph of the meter(s) they will be tracking. Getting an initial reading correct sets students up for being able to collect accurate and meaningful data. But, few of us are trained meter readers. Therefore, this mission provides students an interactive, and non-intimidating, way to learn make a first accurate reading of their unique meter. Students will be successful thanks to lots of examples, by working together with their peers, and even the ability to get their reading verified by an expert.

45 minutes
0

6 / 7 / 8
Engineering

This activity is designed to hook students by making this water and energy investigation personal, and centered on comparing predicted vs. actual consumption. By students beginning listing their daily water/energy uses and how much is consumed every day, this lesson begins student’s exploration into their personal water/energy consumption and how it can be measured and recorded.

Students then reflect on their own home and predict how their water and energy consumption compares to the “average” usage. After a discussion on their predictions, students utilize leading online water and energy calculators to find out their home’s estimated use. This sets students up to compare their estimated use with their own measurements of their home’s real consumption.

How do trees benefit humans and the environment?