Looking for more great stuff for kids? Visit Energy Kids by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Elementary Energy Infobook (e-publication)
Energy Infobooks are the resource for many NEED activities and include an introduction to energy, information on major sources of energy, new technologies, energy conservation, electricity, climate change, and other energy information. They are available on four reading levels and are revised and updated annually.
Blueprint for Success (e-publication)
This essential guide helps educators develop effective energy education programs. It provides an outline of a basic energy curriculum unit and matrix of all curriculum options. also included within the Blueprint for Success is a sample work plan and suggestions for energy outreach activities to conduct other classes, schools, families, and communities. the Youth Awards Program Guide and Application Form can also be found in the Blueprint for Success.
Building Buddies Teacher (e-publication)
Building Buddies Student (e-publication)
Primary students are introduced to basic concepts of energy use and conservation, using the school as a learning laboratory and then extending to home energy use and conservation measures. Students monitor and evaluate energy conservation behaviors daily. Individual students and classrooms are recognized for energy-saving habits and being good Building Buddies. The kit includes a Teacher Guide, class set of Student Guides, rewards, and the materials necessary to conduct the activities.
Comparing Auto Racing Fuels Elementary Teacher (e-publication)
Comparing Auto Racing Fuels Elementary Student (e-publication)
The objective of this activity is to compare racing fuels, and list the pros and cons of different racing fuels.
ElectroWorks Teacher Guide (e-publication)
ElectroWorks Student Guide (e-publication)
This guide includes background information and hands-on experiments to explore the basic concepts of atomic structure and electricity. Included are center-based experiments on static electricity, batteries, magnets, electromagnetism, and circuits.
Elementary Energy Infobook Activities (e-publication)
These guides are companion activities to the Energy Infobooks. They are available on four reading levels that correspond to the infobooks and include Teacher Guides and answer keys for general energy information, energy sources, electricity, and conservation.
Elementary Science of Energy (e-publication)
These guides include background information and hands-on experiments to explore the different forms of energy and how energy is transformed from one form to another. Groups of students master six stations, then teach others about the energy transformations at their stations. Teacher demonstrations are included to introduce the unit. Reinforcement activities are also included. The stations include equipment to teach transformations focusing on kinetic and potential energy, heat, light, motors, batteries, and electromagnetism.
Elementary Transportation Fuels Infobook
Students explore conventional and alternative transportation fuels such as petroleum-based fuels, ethanol, electricity, biodiesel, compressed natural gas, and propane. Student backgrounders and suggested activities are included.
Energy Around the World
This guide includes maps and energy information for countries around the world. Student groups research assigned countries and make presentations to the class that compare United States energy use to energy use around the globe.
Energy Carnival (e-publication)
NEED’s popular carnival games are an excellent way to encourage students and adults to think about energy. The Energy Carnival contains complete instructions and reproducible masters for ten carnival games. The Carnival is ideal for elementary or middle school students and makes an excellent activity for an energy fair or Earth Day celebration.
Energy Conservation Contract (e-publication)
In this outreach activity, students learn about energy conservation and ask their families to sign contracts in which they agree to save energy. Students then calculate the energy savings, and re- evaluate their conservation measures.
Energy Expo and Exhibit Question Sheets (e-publication)
Students work in groups to develop hands-on exhibits and make presentations to teach others. Expos focus on energy sources, transportation fuels, and energy conservation with directions included in this guide.
This module is a guide to teaching students experimental design with an emphasis on developing energy-related science fair projects. Sample science projects are also available on the NEED web site.
Energy Flows (e-publication)
This hands-on activity explains the forms of energy and energy transformations to students. It can be used as a stand-alone activity or a companion activity to the Science of Energy Kit.
Energy Games and Icebreakers (e-publication)
This guide contains offers entertaining activities to introduce energy, efficiency, and conservation to students, as well as reinforce the information that has already been presented. Round Up Posters - Video of Energy Chants
Energy House (e-publication)
In this activity, students learn about efficiency, conservation, and diminishing returns by using various materials to insulate their house and then test its efficiency.
Energy in the Balance (e-publication)
This activity introduces elementary students to the advantages and disadvantages of the major energy sources through a series of critical thinking, charting, and graphing activities.
Energy Jeopardy and Energy Jeopardy Powerpoint
Students will enjoy NEED’s spin on the popular trivia game show. Jeopardy categories that help to reinforce your energy unit include: More MPGs, Famous Americans in Energy, Leading Nations, and more.
Energy Math Challenge
The Energy Math Challenge strengthens students’ math and critical thinking skills while increasing their knowledge of energy. Students work individually or in teams to solve energy math problems.
Energy on Stage
This resource includes plays and poems on energy sources and energy conservation, with individual teacher guides that have expanded vocabulary and extensions.
Energy Rock Performances
Student rock bands write songs and sing about energy sources, electricity, and conservation and efficiency in this entertaining activity. Audiences learn more from these energy rock stars as they tell their stories to interviewers out to get the latest energy scoops. Teacher and student instructions are included, along with sample songs and interviews.
Energy Stories and More (e-publication)
This guide contains a series of stories and hands-on activities that can be used to introduce basic energy concepts and the major energy sources to primary and elementary students.
EnergyWorks Teacher Guide (e-publication )
EnergyWorks Student Guide (e-publication)
The EnergyWorks guides include backgroun information and hands-on experiments that explore motion, light, sound, heat, growth, and powering technology.
Get Your Motors Running (e-publication)
In this activity students will identify components of an engine, compare motors and generators, and compare similarities and differences between racing engines and personal vehicle engines.
Global Trading Game (e-publication)
In this activity developed by the Ohio Energy Project, students become economic advisors, geologists, international traders, and miners as they analyze their assigned country’s resources and needs, then trade resources with other countries to enhance their economic position and environmental quality.
Greek Mythology and the Forms of Energy
This guide provides resource materials and a Teacher Guide for incorporating Greek mythology into your science curriculum relating to forms of energy. This innovative interdisciplinary activity was developed by Donna Quillen of North Carolina.
These guides teach students about hybrid electric buses and encourage them to evaluate the economic and environmental advantages and disadvantages of such vehicles.
Liquefied Natural Gas: LNG (e-publication)
Students learn about energy flows, the chemical properties of natural gas, and the natural gas chain from production to market through activities and background reading.
Monitoring and Mentoring Teacher Guide (e-publication)
Monitoring and Mentoring Student Guide (e-publication)
Students are introduced to methods of measuring energy consumption, determining costs, and quantifying environmental effects through a series of hands-on activities that use the school building as a learning laboratory. Students conduct surveys of the school building and school energy consumption— gathering, recording, and analyzing data, and monitoring energy usage. The kit includes a Teacher Guide, class set of Student Guides, and the materials necessary to conduct the activities.
Mystery World Tour
In this activity, students identify the energy challenges of different countries around the world and compare them to the United States. Students create a proposal and a presentation to share with the class, who will tour and try to identify each mystery nation.
NEED Songbook (e-publication)
Reinforce energy concepts and sing along to NEED’s favorite songs including the NEED Clap, E-N-E-R-G-Y, and What Do You Do With An Energy Waster? Videos of NEED Songs
Polymers and Auto Racing (e-publication)
The objective of this activity is to compare polymers used in racing.
Primary Energy Carnival (e-publication)
NEED’s popular carnival games are an excellent way to encourage students and adults to think about energy. The Primary Energy Carnival contains nine games appropriate for students in grades K-3.
Primary Science of Energy Teacher Guide (e-publication)
Primary Science of Energy Student Guide (e-publication)
This guide includes background information and hands-on experiments to explore the fundamental concepts of energy. Students explore the science of motion, heat, sound, and light with a series of simple activities that incorporate both English and metric measurements, using safe student thermometers, balances, rulers, measuring tapes, beakers, and graduated cylinders. Students learn to make observations, measure, record results, compare and contrast, categorize, make predictions, analyze and graph results, and draw conclusions.
Saving Energy at Home and School Teacher Guide (e-publication)
Saving Energy at Home and School Student Guide (e-publication)
Students explore energy sources, efficiency, and conservation with hands-on activities for the home and classroom environments. Students and families install measures from the Home Energy Efficiency Kits that correspond to the lessons learned in the classroom, and discuss their own energy use.
Talking Trash (e-publication)
Students learn about solid waste, its relationship to natural resources and energy, and options for handling solid waste including recycling, landfilling, and incineration.
This Mine of Mine (e-publication)
This hands-on activity, developed by the Ohio Energy Project, allows students to explore the formation, geology, recovery, and uses of coal, as well as reclamation of mine sites.
Today in Energy
These activities introduce students to the economics of energy use. Choices, trade-offs, and costs are explored using math and critical thinking skills.
Transportation Fuels Debate
Students evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of conventional and alternative transportation fuels in a debate format. Teacher instructions and masters are included to help students develop arguments on the merits of each fuel.
Transportation Fuels Rock Performances (e-publication)
Student rock bands write songs and sing about transportation fuels in this entertaining activity. Audiences learn more from these energy rock stars as they tell their stories to interviewers out to get the latest scoops. Teacher and student instructions are included, along with sample songs and interviews.
U.S. Energy Geography
This HTML based resource includes U.S. maps covering all ten energy sources, energy production, energy consumption, and more! These maps are an excellent resource for any energy- related discussion or multi-disciplinary activity.
Wonders of Magnets (e-publication)
Students explore the basics of magnets and magnetism through background reading and hands-on center-based experiments.
Wonders of Oil and Gas (e-publication)
Through background reading and hands-on activities, students are introduced to the basic concepts of oil and natural gas formation, composition, exploration, production, processing, and use.
Wonders of the Sun Teacher Guide (e-publication)
Wonders of the Sun Student Guide (e-publication)
Elementary students develop a basic understanding of solar energy through background reading and classroom activities. Hands-on activities demonstrate solar energy transformations into kinetic energy, thermal energy, chemical energy, and electricity. The kit includes a Teacher Guide, a class set of Student Guides, and the materials necessary to conduct the activities.
Wonder of Water Teacher Guide (e-publication)
Wonders of Water Student Guide (e-publication)
Elementary students learn about the forms of energy, electricity, electrical circuits, properties of water, and how water is used as an energy source through reading, hands-on investigations, and language arts activities. The kit comes with a Teacher Guide, a class set of Student Guides, and the materials necessary to conduct the activities.
Wonders of the Wind Teacher Guide (e-publication)
Wonders of the Wind Student Guide (e-publication)
Elementary students learn about wind through reading and activities that focus on observation and inquiry. Students will learn to measure wind speed and direction, and will investigate how wind does work and generates electricity. The kit comes with a Teacher Guide, a class set of Student Guides, and the materials necessary to conduct the activities, including one KidWind Weightlifter Turbine and one KidWind Basic Turbine.
Yesterday in Energy
This activity allows students to travel back in time without leaving the classroom. Students conduct interviews and do research to learn about an create exhibits depicting energy use in the good old days.
NEED Curriculum Guides in Spanish
Energy Infobook Activities
Sections from the Elementary Energy Infobook
- What is Biomass
- What is Coal
- What is Geothermal
- What is Hydropower
- What is Natural Gas
- What is Petroleum
- What is Propane
- What is Solar Energy
- What is Uranium
- What is Wind
From the Science of Energy
- Formas de Energía
- Estación Uno - Procedimiento
- Estación Dos - Procedimiento
- Estación Tres - Procedimiento
- Estación Cuatro - Procedimiento
- Estación Cinco - Procedimiento
- Estación Seis - Procedimiento