“Be a Good Friend & Take Care of Our Planet”
- 3 Challenges Completed
- 14 Challenges not completed
Do You Really Need It?
This challenge was our kick-off to the Energy Diet Challenge. 1. The students were at home for a snow day and one of their activities was to make a list of anything they used at home that used energy. 2. The next day we talked about our lists, tallied our results, and created a graph with the top five ways our class uses energy. 3. I asked the students what the word ENERGY means? We came up with a definition but we also had a few debates (e.g., does water from our tap use energy, do we only count the fridge when we open the door) and a great debate about whether the gas in a snowmobile was a form of energy or not (the vote was 60-40). I let them try to answer the question themselves and a student found a video for us to watch that answered the question. This is the link to the video we watched: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JasIvS7oYw4. It is called "Fossil Fuels for Kids | Learn all about fossil fuels, what they are, and where they come from" from Clarendon Learning. 4. We made notes during the video on our whiteboards and I created an anchor chart for the students. We answered our question. 5. The students then determined whether the energy they used was a need or a want and they chose what they were going to give up.
How Big Are Your Carbon Feet?
The students brainstormed what they thought a carbon footprint could be. We reviewed what fossil fuels are and we came up with a definition of WHAT IS A CARBON FOOTPRINT? We read about the purpose of light and heat to our earth and how some gases, called greenhouse gases, get trapped in the atmosphere. We viewed the Green Ninja video and made a list of ways that the Green Ninja acted like a climate action hero. We added to this list after watching the Carbon Monster video. Students added to the list ways that they can reduce their carbon footprint. Students used the Carbon Footprint Calculator to determine their carbon footprint and then used the carbon footprint template to show actions they could do to reduce their carbon footprint.
One Hour No Power
The students brainstormed ways we use energy at school (e.g., lights, SmartBoard, computers) and ways we can reduce energy consumption (e.g., turn off the projector when not in use, sharpen our pencils by hand, unplug items not in use). We discovered that we couldn't go without power altogether at school because the school needs to be heated. Two students found the custodian to ask how the school was heated. The school is heated by a furnace that uses natural gas. The students remembered that natural gas is a non-renewable energy source. We also had a debate about whether a toilet requires energy or not. A group of students researched this and reported back to the class. They found a video about how a toilet works that they wanted to share with their peers. We watched “How Stuff Works Videos- Toilet.avi” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqcYXeJ02U8. At school, the toilets use a water pump to evacuate the waste from the toilet. Gravity drains much of the water/waste and then a water pump pushes the water/waste the rest of the way. We also learned that energy is required to clean water at a water treatment center before the water can be used. We decided as a class that there were ways we could reduce how much power we use (e.g., use a thermostat on a furnace) and ways we could control how much power we use (e.g., use natural light instead of classroom lights). We brainstormed a list of alternative activities we could do that don’t use power and then created posters for a target audience (4-5 year olds, 6-9 year olds, and 10-12 year olds) that we could post around the school to encourage others to use less power.