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NEED is adding new energy workshops all the time. Want to attend? Check out our calendar to find a workshop near you!

 

Our Curriculum

The Science of Energy

Students at all grade levels learn about the forms of energy—heat, light, motion, sound, nuclear energy, and electrical energy—with age-appropriate, hands-on explorations that emphasize the scientific process, energy sources, electricity generation and more. 
 

Renewable and Nonrenewable Sources of Energy

The curriculum provides comprehensive, objective information and activities on the energy sources that fuel our country, including each of their economic and environmental impacts. Students explore the history of energy, energy in current events, and consider future energy development opportunities and challenges. They understand that certain energy sources may be better choices for specific energy needs, and they discuss and debate the energy sources we use today and will use in the future. NEED believes in teaching about all energy sources and helping students understand that there are many things to consider when making decisions about resource use.

New to NEED’s suite of materials this year is coal curriculum. This three-title suite of guides for Primary/Elementary, Intermediate, and Secondary students addresses coal formation and chemical properties, coal mining, the uses of coal, coal’s role as an energy source, and the environmental concerns associated with the use of coal.
 

Electricity

NEED students learn about the atom and the particles that make up the atom. They understand electricity as an energy carrier. They learn about electrons and how they move; they build batteries and electromagnets. They explore circuits and learn how electricity is generated and measured. They research fusion and fission, photovoltaics and superconductors, electricity regulation, and politics and policy.

Students consider cleaner-coal technologies, renewable electricity, and natural gas fired electricity generation. They research nuclear energy as a growing option for generating the nation’s electricity.

They work with SmartMeters to understand how electric and natural gas meters are utilized by many utilities nationwide. Understanding the technology of the meters and their impact on energy conservation efforts is important to how the nation’s Smart Grid and Smart Meter infrastructure grows. NEED believes in bringing a discussion of new technologies to the classroom. NEED kids learn, they teach others, and communities begin to understand.
 

Transportation

NEED’s transportation materials cover the transportation fuels and vehicles in use today and the fuels and vehicles of the future. Students learn about gasoline, diesel, hybrid electric vehicles, and plug-in hybrids. Students learn about hydrogen with the DOE-sponsored H2 Educate curriculum, expand their knowledge of petroleum and its uses, and consider the advantages and disadvantages of the fuels we use to transport people and products from place to place. They are actively engaged in learning about transportation technologies while using Transportation Expo, and challenged by pieces like Transportation Enigma and Transportation Debate.
 

Efficiency and Conservation

Learning to use energy wisely is the capstone component of the NEED program. Students learn to read utility meters, use light meters, investigate phantom loads, and evaluate information from EnergyGuide labels and make the most use of the SmartMeter installed on their home. They learn about caulking, weather-stripping, and programmable thermostats. They monitor energy consumption and explore ways to reduce it—like using ENERGY STAR® products at home and at school. In Building Science, students come to understand how homes and buildings can be built with maximum energy efficiency in mind.
 

Synthesis of Energy Information

NEED’s curriculum incorporates activities to help synthesize energy information and create valuable connections between science and social science and the application of knowledge to decision making. Students undertake problem-based learning activities and explore possible opportunities and challenges for many energy decisions.

And now, with NEED’s newly designed Next Generation Science Standards Correlation Chart, these activities help students explain, conceptualize, and practice standards required in the classroom.
 
Educators
Visit the Educators section of the website to access NEED's currciulum resources.