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From Grid to Home
http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/energy/activities/32718.html

Marie Johnson, SERC - On the Cutting Edge Collection

In this classroom activity, students analyze regional energy usage data and their own energy bills to gain an understanding of individual consumption, regional uses, costs, and sources of energy.

Activity takes one class period.

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Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

A combination of strategies is needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The most immediate strategy is conservation of oil, gas, and coal, which we rely on as fuels for most of our transportation, heating, cooling, agriculture, and electricity. Short-term strategies involve switching from carbon-intensive to renewable energy sources, which also requires building new infrastructure for alternative energy sources. Long-term strategies involve innovative research and a fundamental change in the way humans use energy.
About Teaching the Guiding Principle
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Actions taken by individuals, communities, states, and countries all influence climate. Practices and policies followed in homes, schools, businesses, and governments can affect climate. Climate-related decisions made by one generation can provide opportunities as well as limit the range of possibilities open to the next generation. Steps toward reducing the impact of climate change may influence the present generation by providing other benefits such as improved public health infrastructure and sustainable built environments.
About Teaching the Guiding Principle
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Energy Literacy

Some populations are more vulnerable to impacts of energy choices than others.
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7.6 Vulnerable populations.
The quality of life of individuals and societies is affected by energy choices.
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Energy affects quality of life .
Humans transfer and transform energy from the environment into forms useful for human endeavors.
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4.1 Humans transfer and transform energy.
Humans transport energy from place to place.
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4.4 Humans transport energy.
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Various sources of energy are used to power human activities .

Excellence in Environmental Education Guidelines

1. Questioning, Analysis and Interpretation Skills:C) Collecting information
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C) Collecting information.
4. Personal and Civic Responsibility:D) Accepting personal responsibility
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D) Accepting personal responsibility.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.4 Environment and Society:D) Technology
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D) Technology.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.4 Environment and Society:E) Environmental Issues
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E) Environmental Issues.
3. Skills for Understanding and Addressing Environmental Issues:3.1 Skills for Analyzing and Investigating Environmental Issues:B) Sorting out the consequences of issues
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B) Sorting out the consequences of issues.
3. Skills for Understanding and Addressing Environmental Issues:3.1 Skills for Analyzing and Investigating Environmental Issues:C) Identifying and evaluation alternative solutions and courses of action
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C) Identifying and evaluation alternative solutions and courses of action.
3. Skills for Understanding and Addressing Environmental Issues:3.2 Decision-Making and Citizenship Skills:C) Planning and taking action
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C) Planning and taking action.

Benchmarks for Science Literacy
Learn more about the Benchmarks

Industry, transportation, urban development, agriculture, and most other human activities are closely tied to the amount and kind of energy available. People in different parts of the world have different amounts and kinds of energy resources to use and use them for different purposes.
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Decisions to slow the depletion of energy resources can be made at many levels, from personal to national, and they always involve trade-offs involving economic costs and social values.
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Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • Carefully analyze the worksheet to make sure it is appropriate for your students - modify as appropriate.
  • The worksheet will likely need scaffolding for younger students and higher level questions for older students.
  • Younger students may require pre-teaching to calculate the percentages of CO2 emission.
  • This activity could be used as an introduction to the Lifestyle Project http://serc.carleton.edu/introgeo/enviroprojects/lifestyle.html.

About the Science

  • Passed initial science review - expert science review pending.
  • Students use real data.
  • Data is well referenced.
  • Links are given to find and use additional data about the source of energy in the individual region.
  • Comments from expert scientist: All of the sources are credible and provide up to date information. Because every student might not be able to bring their energy bill, it would be useful to use the teacher's bill, or have example bills from different regions.

About the Pedagogy

  • Activity can be done individually or in small groups, possibly as a homework assignment.
  • Opportunity for students to share results.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • All necessary materials available, including data.

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