The Big Energy Gamble

In this activity, students conduct an energy audit to determine how much carbon dioxide their family is releasing into the atmosphere and then make recommendations for minimizing their family's carbon footprint.

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Jeff Lockwood
NOVA Teachers

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Teaching Tips

Teaching Tips

Clarification - sentence in the foreword: "Some scientists believe that this increase is due to greenhouse gases produced through human activities" is incorrect, because "based on data, scientists have concluded that human activities have caused increases in greenhouse gases."

Since consumption is based on formulas with units of power and energy, the educator may have to help students with their calculations.

The educator is asked to set up a blog for student research purposes. Technical help to set that up in advance may be necessary.

The extension activity for a school audit is very highly recommended, including a guided discussion on what energy use means for the school would be really helpful.

To avoid issues of equity, use a sample bill (rather than students' using their own homes).