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Are You An Energy Efficient Consumer?
https://koshland-science-museum.org/explore/lights-night-webquest

Marian Koshland Science Museum of the National Academy of Sciences

This activity engages students in learning about ways to become energy efficient consumers. Students examine how different countries and regions around the world use energy over time, as reflected in night light levels. They then track their own energy use, identify ways to reduce their individual energy consumption, and explore how community choices impact the carbon footprint.

Activity takes two 45-minute class periods. Computer access is needed for part of the activity.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»


Climate Literacy

This Activity builds on the following concepts of Climate Literacy.

Click a topic below for supporting information, teaching ideas, and sample activities.

Energy Literacy

This Activity builds on the following concepts of Energy Literacy.

Click a topic below for supporting information, teaching ideas, and sample activities.

Excellence in Environmental Education Guidelines

4. Personal and Civic Responsibility:B) Recognizing citizens' rightrs and responsiblities
Other materials addressing:
B) Recognizing citizens' rightrs and responsiblities.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.3 Humans and Their Societies:A) Individuals and groups
Other materials addressing:
A) Individuals and groups.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.4 Environment and Society:A) Human/environment interactions
Other materials addressing:
A) Human/environment interactions.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.4 Environment and Society:C) Resources
Other materials addressing:
C) Resources.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.4 Environment and Society:D) Technology
Other materials addressing:
D) Technology.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.4 Environment and Society:E) Environmental Issues
Other materials addressing:
E) Environmental Issues.
3. Skills for Understanding and Addressing Environmental Issues:3.1 Skills for Analyzing and Investigating Environmental Issues:A) Identifying and investigating issues
Other materials addressing:
A) Identifying and investigating 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
Other materials addressing:
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
Other materials addressing:
C) Identifying and evaluation alternative solutions and courses of action.

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

  • The idea of having students describe what they see in the night sky is nice, but it will be difficult to have them discuss whether or not what they see is disturbed by light pollution. To arrive at this conclusion, they would need to see a difference.
  • Possible follow-up topics include energy cycles (photosynthesis and respiration), global climate change, properties of light and energy (from a physical science perspective).
  • Educators should emphasize that the carbon calculator is using some simplified equations. They will appear like a black box to the students and some more explanation will be helpful.

About the Science

  • The activity challenges users to connect energy use and decisions with broader environmental impact. It forces individuals to examine their energy use and expands thinking beyond immediate self and neighborhood to global perspective.
  • There is an interesting but unexplained connection between evening lighting and energy usage as the starting premise for the activity. It would be enhanced if the connection was supported by scientific data. One image suggests lighting in the United States has decreased, yet national energy use has not. Data is from 1993, 1997 and 2003.
  • Activity takes students on a journey from local to regional to national to world - with changing perspectives on the topic.

About the Pedagogy

  • The activity uses a nice mix of different learning methods - video, graphs, and internet research.
  • Great guideline for educator with clear instructions for the activity.
  • Different learning styles are addressed with the mix of teamwork, visualizations, and classroom discussions.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • The activity is easy to maneuver and simple to follow.

Related URLs These related sites were noted by our reviewers but have not been reviewed by CLEAN

A newer carbon calculator with carbon offset project suggestions can be found from the Carbon Footprint Management Company based in London: https://www.co2nsensus.com/carbon-footprint-calculator-co2nnector

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