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To Conserve or not to Conserve

Secondary, Middle

Description

This very practical classroom resource has students examine specific ways to conserve energy at school and in their personal lives. It begins by asking the class to generate a list of reasons why conserving energy is important. They are then given an Energy IQ test to be used as both a pre and post test to assess changes in student knowledge and attitudes regarding energy conservation.

The core components and student activities included in this resource are grouped within five energy conservation strategies as indicated.

1. Energy Savings in Heating and Cooling - Students examine:

  • The Effect of Closing Doors
  • The Effect of Fireplace Damper Position
  • The Effect of the Fireplace on Home Heating
  • Comparing Different Home Heating Systems
  • Comparing Window and Wall Heat Loss
  • Window Insulation Survey

2. Hot Water Energy Savings- Students investigate:

  • Hot Water Loss from Leaking Faucets
  • Washing Dishes in Warm Vs Hot Water
  • Boiling With or Without Covering Pan
  • Taking Baths vs. Showers
  • Heat Loss from Long Hot Water Pipes
  • Washing Clothes in Cold vs. Hot Water

3. Lighting and Appliance Energy Savings- Students determine:

  • How Many Watts for Seeing
  • The Energy Use of Different Appliance Brands
  • How Lighting Diminishes With Distance
  • Light Source Effectiveness
  • Results from a Lighting Survey
  • Home Light and Appliance Survey

4. Automobile Savings- Students will:

  • Comparing Gas Mileage
  • Calculate Fuel per Passenger Mile
  • Analyze results from Tire Brand/Type Survey
  • Examine Tire Air Pressure Effects
  • Examine Car Weight Effects
  • Learn Benefits of Planning Your Trips

5. Commercial and Industrial Energy Conservation (Optional activity)

  • Find Out About Your Local Utility
  • Demand Charges and How to Reduce Them
  • Your School’s Bills and Energy Management
  • Industry/Home Bill Comparison and Billing Units
  • Code Requirements and Their Energy Costs
  • Industrial Plant Energy Balance

 

 

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

This resource explicitly teaches:

  • Analytical skills
  • Presentation skills
  • Research skills
  • Experimental skills.

Strengths

  • This lesson plans are very interesting and would relate to the lives of high school students.
  • There is a good amount of background information for teachers.
  • Very interesting energy IQ test that can be used as a pre and post evaluation.
  • The theme of the lesson plan is reinforced throughout.
  • The activities are very easy to implement.
  • The resource is up-to-date.

Weaknesses

  • There could more background information for students or web links to supplement the unit.

Recommendation of how and where to use it

A great teaching tool for high school science students to get them engaged in energy conservation issues that they encounter daily.

Relevant Curriculum Units

The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.

  • Step 1Select a province
  • Alberta
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Matter and Energy: Understandings of the physical world are deepened through investigating matter and energy
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 30: : Energy and the Environment
  • British Columbia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Energy is conserved and its transformation can affect living things and the environment
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 12: Living sustainably supports the well-being of self, community, and Earth.
  • Manitoba
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Senior 1 Science: Nature of Electricity
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interdisciplinary Topics in Science 40S: Science, Technology, Society and the Environment
  • New Brunswick
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Learning and Living Sustainably (STSE)
        • Science 10 Science for Sustainable Societies
        • Science 10 Science for Sustainable Societies: The Nature of Science
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Physics
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Physics 11: Work And Energy
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Advanced Environmental Science 120: Earth Systems
        • Introduction to Environmental Science 120: Investigating Environmental Issues
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Electricity
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Physics
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Physics 2204: Work and Energy
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 3205: Introduction to Environmental Science
  • Northwest Territories
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Physics
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Conservation of Energy
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 30: Energy and the Environment
  • Nova Scotia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 9: Characteristics of Electricity
    • Grade 10
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Physics
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Physics 11: Momentum and Energy
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • AP Environmental Science: Energy Consumption and Resources
  • Nunavut
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 30: Energy and the Environment
  • Ontario
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science (Academic):Physics: The Characteristics of Electricity
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science (Univ/College Prep.) Conservation of Energy
      • Physics
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Energy and Society
  • Prince Edward Island
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Physics
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Physics 521A: Momentum and Energy
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 621A: Natural Resources
  • Yukon Territory
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Energy is conserved and its transformation can affect living things and the environment
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 12: Living sustainably supports the well-being of self, community, and Earth.

Themes Addressed

  • Energy (3)

    • Alternative Energy
    • Energy Generation
    • Energy Use

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Very Good

The lessons present as many different points of view as necessary to fairly address the issue.

Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:
  • Satisfactory: absence of bias towards any one point of view
  • Good: students consider different points of view regarding issues, problems discussed
  • Very good: based on the consideration of different views, students form opinions and  take an informed position
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions Satisfactory

The environmental, economic and social dimensions for conserving energy are implied but not explicitly discussed.

Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:

Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

  • Satisfactory: resource supports the examination of  these dimensions
  • Good:  resource explicitly examines the interplay of these dimensions
  • Very Good:  a systems-thinking approach is encouraged to examine these three dimensions
Respects Complexity Very Good

The complexity of problems is respected. A systems-thinking approach is encouraged.

Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.

Acting on Learning Good

Students participate in a real analysis of how much energy is used to meet their own personal demands.

Acting on Learning:

Learning moves from understanding  issues  to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community,  or for the planet

  • Satisfactory: action opportunities are included as extensions 
  • Good: action opportunities are core components of the resource
  • Very Good: action opportunities for students are well supported and intended to result in observable, positive change
Values Education Poor/Not considered

Students are not explicitly given an opportunity to clarify their own values.

Values Education:

Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.

Empathy & Respect for Humans Poor/Not considered

This resource deals only with energy and not empathy and respect for humans.

Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).
Personal Affinity with Earth Poor/Not considered

This activity does not encourages a personal affinity with non-humans and with Earth.

Personal Affinity with Earth:

Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.  

  • Satisfactory: connection is made to the natural world
  • Good: fosters appreciation/concern for the natural world
  • Very Good: fosters stewardship though practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors 
Locally-Focused Learning Very Good

The resource deals with energy issues that students would experience every day.

Locally-Focused Learning:

Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community. 

  • Satisfactory: learning is made relevant to the lives of the learners
  • Good: learning is made relevant and has a local focus
  • Very Good: learning is made relevant, local and takes place ‘outside’ , in the community 
Past, Present & Future Poor/Not considered

There is little attention paid to the chronological history of energy conservation.

Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.

Pedagogical Approaches

Principle Rating Explanation
Open-Ended Instruction Very Good

Multiple/complex answers are possible.

Open-Ended Instruction :

Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.

Integrated Learning Satisfactory

The activities are mainly science based.

Integrated Learning:

Learning brings together content and skills  from more than one  subject area

  • Satisfactory: content from a number of different  subject areas is readily identifiable
  • Good:  resource is appropriate for use in more than one subject area
  • Very Good:  the lines between subjects are blurred 
Inquiry Learning Good

Students are provided with intriguing questions, materials to use, & they make some of their own decisions on how to find answers.

Inquiry Learning:

Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.   

  • Satisfactory: Students are provided with questions/problems to solve and some direction on how to arrive at solutions.
  • Good: students, assisted by the teacher clarify the question(s) to ask and the process to follow to arrive at solutions.  Sometimes referred to as Guided Inquiry
  • Very Good:  students generate the questions and assume much of the responsibility for how to solve them.  . Sometimes referred to as self-directed learning.

 

Differentiated Instruction Good

Accommodations are not suggested for people with learning difficulties but some of the activities would accommodate different learning styles.

Differentiated Instruction:

Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.

  • Satisfactory:  includes a variety of instructional approaches
  • Good: addresses  the needs of visual, auditory &  kinesthetic learners
  • Very Good: also includes strategies for learners with difficulties
Experiential Learning Very Good

Authentic experiences relating to the primary goal of the lesson are used.

Experiential Learning:

Authentic learning experiences are provided

  • Satisfactory: learning takes place through ‘hands-on’ experience or simulation
  • Good: learning involves direct experience in a ‘real world context’
  • Very good: learning involves ‘real world experiences’ taking place’ beyond the school walls.
Cooperative Learning Satisfactory

Cooperative learning skills are not explicitly taught.

Cooperative Learning:

Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.

  • Satisfactory:  students work in groups
  • Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught and practiced
  • Very Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught, practiced and assessed
Assessment & Evaluation Good

An evaluation tools is provided.

Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.
Peer Teaching Very Good

Students present the results of their research and experiences to other students.  They are responsible for 'teaching' the others.

Peer Teaching:

Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.

  • Satisfactory: incidental teaching that arises from cooperative learning, presentations, etc.
  • Good or Very Good: an opportunity is intentionally created to empower students to teach other students/community members. The audience is somehow reliant on the students' teaching (students are not simply ‘presenting')
Case Studies Very Good

Real cases are used.

Case Studies:

Relevant case studies are included.  Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore  concepts in an authentic context.

Locus of Control Poor/Not considered

Students do not choose elements of program content.

Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.