Connecticut Energy Education
Activity takes one to two class periods. Lamps and access to sockets necessary.Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»
See how this Activity supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 4 Cross Cutting Concepts, 4 Science and Engineering Practices
High School: 3 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 1 Cross Cutting Concept, 6 Science and Engineering Practices
Activity can also be used with younger high school students.
About Teaching Climate Literacy
7.3 Environmental quality.
1.7 Units of energy.
Energy is a physical quantity.
6.8 Calculating and monitoring energy use.
Excellence in Environmental Education Guidelines
Other materials addressing:
Other materials addressing:
E) Environmental Issues.
Other materials addressing:
C) Identifying and evaluation alternative solutions and courses of action.
Notes From Our Reviewers
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Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy |
- Educators should add short answer questions for a final assessment.
- An interesting graphic that summarizes energy usage can be found at http://needtoknow.nas.edu/energy/interactive/our-energy-system/.
- For best results, place the light bulbs close to the thermometers (10 - 20 cm).
- Educators should stress that the personal change in energy has to go beyond changing light bulbs, but it is a good start.
- Educators may want to include LED bulbs in the investigation part of the activity.
About the Science
- Simple, yet effective, activity that has students investigate differences in energy expenditure between regular incandescent and compact fluorescent light bulbs. LED bulbs are mentioned in passing, but they are not part of the energy expenditure investigation.
About the Pedagogy
- There are opportunities for data collection, written responses, data sharing and whole class discussion, which will address different types of learners.
- The hands-on activity is a nifty way for students to understand why compact fluorescent light bulbs are so efficient and how much less energy loss (heat) there is with them.
Next Generation Science Standards See how this Activity supports:
Cross Cutting Concepts: 4
MS-C1.4:Graphs, charts, and images can be used to identify patterns in data.
MS-C3.3: Proportional relationships (e.g., speed as the ratio of distance traveled to time taken) among different types of quantities provide information about the magnitude of properties and processes.
MS-C5.3:Energy may take different forms (e.g. energy in fields, thermal energy, energy of motion).
MS-C5.4:The transfer of energy can be tracked as energy flows through a designed or natural system.
Science and Engineering Practices: 4
MS-P3.5:Collect data about the performance of a proposed object, tool, process or system under a range of conditions.
MS-P5.5:Use digital tools and/or mathematical concepts and arguments to test and compare proposed solutions to an engineering design problem.
MS-P6.6:Apply scientific ideas or principles to design, construct, and/or test a design of an object, tool, process or system.
MS-P7.5:Evaluate competing design solutions based on jointly developed and agreed-upon design criteria.
Disciplinary Core Ideas: 3
HS-PS3.A1:Energy is a quantitative property of a system that depends on the motion and interactions of matter and radiation within that system. That there is a single quantity called energy is due to the fact that a system’s total energy is conserved, even as, within the system, energy is continually transferred from one object to another and between its various possible forms.
HS-PS3.A2:At the macroscopic scale, energy manifests itself in multiple ways, such as in motion, sound, light, and thermal energy.
HS-PS3.B1:Conservation of energy means that the total change of energy in any system is always equal to the total energy transferred into or out of the system.
Cross Cutting Concepts: 1
HS-C5.3:Energy cannot be created or destroyed—only moves between one place and another place, between objects and/or fields, or between systems.
Science and Engineering Practices: 6
HS-P3.1:Plan an investigation or test a design individually and collaboratively to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence as part of building and revising models, supporting explanations for phenomena, or testing solutions to problems. Consider possible confounding variables or effects and evaluate the investigation’s design to ensure variables are controlled.
HS-P4.6: Analyze data to identify design features or characteristics of the components of a proposed process or system to optimize it relative to criteria for success.
HS-P5.5:Apply ratios, rates, percentages, and unit conversions in the context of complicated measurement problems involving quantities with derived or compound units (such as mg/mL, kg/m3, acre-feet, etc.).
HS-P6.4:Apply scientific reasoning, theory, and/or models to link evidence to the claims to assess the extent to which the reasoning and data support the explanation or conclusion.
HS-P7.1:Compare and evaluate competing arguments or design solutions in light of currently accepted explanations, new evidence, limitations (e.g., trade-offs), constraints, and ethical issues
HS-P7.5:Make and defend a claim based on evidence about the natural world or the effectiveness of a design solution that reflects scientific knowledge and student-generated evidence.