Are You An Energy Efficient Consumer?

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.

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Marian Koshland Science Museum of the National Academy of Sciences

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Teaching Tips

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.