What are your students doing to celebrate Energy Awareness Month?

Each year, the U.S. Department of Energy designates October as Energy Awareness Month. During the month, many schools undertake energy efficiency and conservation activities. These classroom activities connect well to student homes as many families approach the winter heating season. Using energy wisely makes sense – both for the environment and for economics.

In October, consider teaching about the energy sources we use and how to use them more efficiently using the following NEED activities.

  • Teach and read about energy with NEED’s Energy Booklist. This list provides multi-level energy related non-fiction and fiction literature for students.
  • The Energy Expo was created to provide students with an expanded opportunity to learn about energy efficiency technologies while improving research and presentation skills.

Celebrate Energy Awareness Month by learning more about how you use energy and how to make your energy choices more energy efficient!

    • Spine-chilling weather lurks around the corner which is a great time to investigate the science behind heat transfers into and out of a system, as well as to conduct a home energy audit! Students can take an energy audit of their home and share the results.
    • Have students build an energy house to conceptualize insulation, conservation and diminishing returns.
    • Investigate the use of appliances and machines through a data-driven investigative unit. Sink your teeth into our Plug Loads unit to teach about phantom load, otherwise known as vampire power, to explain electricity consumed by an appliance or device that is plugged into an outlet but not currently “on”. Allows students to look closely at how pluggable devices are used at home and school– and how they can affect the utility bill.

Download NEED’s Spooky House Saver graphic to learn some energy saving tips to cut costs from utility bills!

Energy efficiency tips

Wicked Fun Energy Awareness Games and Activities

  • Energy Bingo makes an excellent icebreaker! These energy vocabulary and fact bingos also make excellent formative assessments. NEED Bingos are quick to prepare, and take 20-45 minutes to play, depending on the students and set-up you choose. Download and play today!
  • Get your sweet tooth ready by playing Candy Collector in NEED’s Energy Games and Icebreakers guide to introduce the terms renewable and nonrenewable while providing a closer look at how these energy sources will last.
  • This Week in Energy Conservation in NEED’s Energy Games and Icebreakers guide is designed as a television show with student-correspondents reporting on a variety of energy conservation topics. This activity will introduce students to ways of saving energy both in the home and on the road.
  • Energy on Stage features a “Harry Spotter and the Chamber of Myths” play for students learn about wind turbines.  “Harry Spotter and the Quest for the Right Light” is a fun way to learn about energy efficient lighting.
  • Make a solar oven to roast pumpkin seeds, radiant into thermal energy! Printable directions here or follow along with video directions.
  • Learn about energy sources and carve or paint your favorite! Energy Source Pumpkin Templates.
  • PUMPKIN POWER! Directions here.

Energy Awareness Month activities are perfect submissions for the Youth Awards Program
(project submissions open later this year and are due April 15th).

No bones about it, NEED has you covered when it comes to helping your little ghouls understand the importance of energy!

Here are some more great places to look for energy information this month:

U.S. Department of Energy
Energy Information Administration State Profiles
Energy Information Administration Kid’s Page