The Classroom Energy Diet Challenge

Challenge has been completed by:

35 Classrooms!
Lesson Plan

Students will learn about the process of photosynthesis and the important role it plays in carbon offsetting.


OPTION 1: Explore the growth process of plants in your classroom
Students will learn about carbon offsetting and photosynthesis, plant their own seed and monitor their seed’s growth.

OPTION 2: Create a school or community garden
Students will create a garden, monitor its progress and reflect on the benefits of having a garden in their school or community.

OPTION 3: Suggested modification for completion at home

Students will complete a modified version of Option 1 and will explore the growth process of plants from home. 

If students have already started seeds or cuttings at home, they can study their plants to complete this challenge.

If students do not have plants at home, they can try growing virtual plants, for example, using:

  • Gizmos, which can be used free for 5 minutes a day without an account

  • Backyard science, which covers the steps involved in maintaining a tomato plant

Students or parents/guardians can print a  copy of the “Plant life cycle” worksheet (found in the lesson plan) and fill it out, or write down their observations on their own sheet of paper. Students or parents/guardians can take a photo of their written answers to the questions on the worksheet and email their photo to the teacher.

Younger students will need assistance completing this activity, and can instead draw a picture of the lifecycle of a flowering or vegetable plant. A photo of the drawing can be emailed to the teacher. 

Teachers can submit up to three (3) PDFs or six (6) photos provided by students as proof of their classroom completing the challenge. Photos of plants growing at home will also be accepted.

By the end of this activity, students:

  • will understand the concepts of photosynthesis, carbon footprints and carbon offsets
  • will understand the role of photosynthesis in plants and the environmental benefits plants provide
  • will have discussed the benefits of carbon offsetting


Check out this innovative new way to have a garden in the middle of a city! Growing Undergound is doing just that underneath London, England.

The Shell True North Project 

Purchasing Carbon Offsets, The David Suzuki Foundation 

Tree Canada 

How does a Seed Become a plant video

University of Alberta animation of photosynthesis 

Tomato Sphere

How Stuff Works: Photosynthesis 

How can we make crops survive without water (Ted Talk video)

Classrooms who have completed this Challenge

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Update on the Classroom Energy Diet Challenge (CEDC) in response to extended school closures

We are excited to announce the continuation of the CEDC! We understand that the extended school closures impose a few difficulties when it comes to continued participation in this program, and invite classrooms to channel their creativity and ingenuity to complete any outstanding challenges. Where possible, we will be maintaining the current structure, deadlines and prizing, and will be adapting the existing challenges to be more easily completed by members of the classroom who are self-isolating. If you are able to work safely and remotely to complete challenges with your students, please continue to submit your proof!

Thank you for your patience and understanding, and stay tuned for another update in the coming days.