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Compact Fluorescent and LED Cost-Benefit Analysis

Connecticut Energy Education

In this activity, students collect data and analyze the cost of using energy in their homes and investigate one method of reducing energy use. This activity provides educators and students with the means to connect 'energy use consequences' and 'climate change causes.' Through examining home energy use and calculating both pollution caused by the generation of electricity and potential savings, students can internalize these issues and share information with their families.

Activity takes about two to three 50-minute class periods, but can be shortened if some of the worksheet calculations are done as a homework assignment.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Activity supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 1 Performance Expectation, 1 Disciplinary Core Idea, 2 Cross Cutting Concepts, 4 Science and Engineering Practices
High School: 1 Disciplinary Core Idea, 1 Cross Cutting Concept, 3 Science and Engineering Practices

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

About Teaching the Guiding Principle
Other materials addressing GPe
About Teaching the Guiding Principle
Other materials addressing GPg

Energy Literacy

Many different units are used to quantify energy.
Other materials addressing:
1.7 Units of energy.
Amount of energy used can be calculated and monitored.
Other materials addressing:
6.8 Calculating and monitoring energy use.

Excellence in Environmental Education Guidelines

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: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

  • LED light bulbs are presently a better choice than compact fluorescent, but the activity works the same way with either type.
  • Educators will need to assign first two columns of audit worksheet as homework prior to starting this lesson.
  • Activity could be a great way to involve parents in science learning at home.
  • Students will need some help to go through the long series of calculations.
  • Educators should stress that the personal change in energy has to go beyond changing light bulbs, but it is a good start.

About the Science

  • Passed initial science review - expert science review pending.
  • Students collect and analyze data from their own living environments.
  • The data presented in student worksheet is from Connecticut and North East Region (3-year weighted average from 1998-2002), educators should include the most recent data from their state and region, which is available at http://www.eia.doe.gov, and edit the Word document accordingly.
  • Activity involves authentic data collection and analysis.
  • Activity distinguishes between watts and lumens.
  • Good background content for educators.

About the Pedagogy

  • Activity reinforces important math skills.
  • Well-organized series of calculations to derive cost of electricity and amount of CO2 emission due to energy use.
  • Excellent authentic assessment suggestions provided.
  • Activity places this energy efficiency piece in perspective to other options available for emission reduction.
  • Worksheets for data collections and calculations are clear and helpful.
  • Student directions are not well scaffolded; students will need some direct support from educator.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Although the site asks educators to "register" with an email address, the site will only send you one email, which thanks you for downloading their resource.

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Activity supports:

Middle School

Performance Expectations: 1

MS-ETS1-2: Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 1

MS-ETS1.B2:There are systematic processes for evaluating solutions with respect to how well they meet the criteria and constraints of a problem.

Cross Cutting Concepts: 2

Energy and Matter, Patterns

MS-C1.4:Graphs, charts, and images can be used to identify patterns in data.

MS-C5.3:Energy may take different forms (e.g. energy in fields, thermal energy, energy of motion).

Science and Engineering Practices: 4

Planning and Carrying Out Investigations, Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking, Engaging in Argument from Evidence, Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information

MS-P3.2:Conduct an investigation and/or evaluate and/or revise the experimental design to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence that meet the goals of the investigation

MS-P5.5:Use digital tools and/or mathematical concepts and arguments to test and compare proposed solutions to an engineering design problem.

MS-P7.5:Evaluate competing design solutions based on jointly developed and agreed-upon design criteria.

MS-P8.4:Evaluate data, hypotheses, and/or conclusions in scientific and technical texts in light of competing information or accounts.

High School

Disciplinary Core Ideas: 1

HS-ESS3.C2:Scientists and engineers can make major contributions by developing technologies that produce less pollution and waste and that preclude ecosystem degradation.

Cross Cutting Concepts: 1

Energy and Matter

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: 3

Analyzing and Interpreting Data, Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions, Engaging in Argument from Evidence

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-P6.5:Design, evaluate, and/or refine a solution to a complex real-world problem, based on scientific knowledge, student-generated sources of evidence, prioritized criteria, and tradeoff considerations.

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

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