Michigan org releases free lessons on energy efficiency, solar, and wind

Submitted by Laura Holladay

2011-02-25 14:35:26

Energy Works Michigan has just released FREE downloadable lesson plans on energy efficiency, solar energy, and wind energy. Their hands-on, inquiry-based lessons are targeted for upper elementary, middle school, and high school levels. The lessons challenge students to conduct classroom energy audits, interpret wind maps to assess potential wind turbine sites, power a radio using solar panels, and more!

Unit Summaries:
Energy Efficiency: Students explore the concepts of energy efficiency and energy conservation through a game of energy charades, an investigation of electrical appliances in their classroom, and a light bulb experiment. Then they share what they have learned by creating their own energy posters.
Solar Energy: This solar energy unit puts a new twist on circuits -- students learn about circuit basics as they attempt to power a radio and other devices using solar panels as their power source.
Wind Energy: Students learn about wind as a force that is capable of powering a wind turbine to generate electricity, and then they explore the concept of “start-up speed” and learn to interpret wind maps.
Energy Efficiency: In this unit, students will learn how to assess lighting, appliances, heating, and hot water usage as they conduct an energy audit of their classroom. Students analyze their findings and make recommendations for improvement by writing an energy audit report.
Solar: In this unit, students will explore solar energy and photovoltaics (pv) as they conduct experiments to test different variables that affect
the electrical output of a solar pv panel. They also examine some of the pros and cons of solar energy as they use online data to learn about return on investment and environmental impacts.
Wind: Students will be introduced to wind energy through a PowerPoint presentation and an online simulation. Unit also includes recommended activities from WindWise Education, allowing students to design their own wind turbine experiments, assess potential installation sites for wind turbines, and more.
For more information or to download the free lesson plans, visit the Energy Works Michigan website:

Has reading this article been useful? Please use our forum for any comments: energyteachers.org/forum