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12 Steps to a Sustainable High School
http://www.ctenergyeducation.com//lesson.htm?id=pc72a93o

Connecticut Energy Education

This activity includes an assessment, analysis, and action tool that can be used by classrooms to promote understanding of how the complex current issues of energy, pollution, supply and consumption are not just global but also local issues.

Activity is a semester-long activity which requires regular check-ins.

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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

Decisions concerning the use of energy resources are made at many levels.
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5.1 Energy decisions are made at many levels.
Energy decisions are influenced by social factors.
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5.7 Social Factors.
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Energy decisions are influenced by several factors.
One way to manage energy resources is through conservation.
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6.2 Conserving energy.
Behavior and design affect the amount of energy used by human society.
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6.6 Behavior and design.
Amount of energy used can be calculated and monitored.
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6.8 Calculating and monitoring energy use.
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Human use of energy.

Excellence in Environmental Education Guidelines

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:A) Human/environment interactions
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A) Human/environment interactions.
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:B) Evaluating the need for citizen action
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B) Evaluating the need for citizen action.

Benchmarks for Science Literacy
Learn more about the Benchmarks

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.
Explore the map of concepts related to this benchmark

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

  • Several sections of the activity could "stand alone" and be undertaken, rather than the entire project.
  • Before embarking on this activity, educators will need to determine whether the data required to complete the activity is available or if implementation is feasible.
  • Since 2006 when this was developed, many schools and districts have begun to measure and reduce their energy consumption, so some of the work may already be done and teachers can seek ways to "add value" to prior efforts rather than starting from scratch.

About the Science

  • This challenging activity is designed to help teachers and their students measure and reduce the energy consumption and carbon footprint of their school.
  • The activity is about making a school more environmentally friendly rather than truly "sustainable".
  • Passed initial science review - expert science review pending.

About the Pedagogy

  • This is a good model for empowering students to make local changes that may affect how their school is run, the quality of life within the school, and even reduce the town’s spending.
  • A true "act locally" learning activity that engages students and adults both in school and in the community with issues of energy usage and conservation.
  • This is a long-term project - not a simple activity. A great deal of planning and prep work is required on the part of the teachers in order to make this work in a successful way.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Well-suited for a course with a flexible curriculum, as a independent study project, or a project for an environmental club etc.
  • A lot of time needs to be dedicated to this learning activity as presented and thus might not be practical to do in a science class with a rigid curriculum.

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