Efficiency and Availability: Designing an Energy Self-Sufficient Community

Kory Trosclair, Science, Bailey Middle School

Final Unit (PDF)  Implementing Common Core Standards (PDF)


Introducing students to energy goes hand in hand with matter. Students have mastered the basics of matter and atomic structure and are ready take the next step: energy. This curriculum unit explores the continuation of chemistry concepts, following matter, making heavy use of kinesthetic and creative learning styles with a focus on research and development of an idea. Technology and traditional instruction will be used to cover concepts before students begin their research and hands on activities of city design and efficiency, as well as keeping track of use and carbon emissions. Specific information covered includes the following: types of energy (solar, hydro, biomass, wind, nuclear, geothermal, oil, coal, and natural gas), inherited (non-renewable) resources, income (renewable) resources, carbon emissions, energy consumption, and city infrastructure. The activities in this curriculum unit can be replicated using online resources and some of the materials needed are contained in the Appendix or resources section. Teachers wanting to use a creative, kinesthetic approach to real life energy challenges and solutions will find the unit engaging while relying on students to complete research, calculations and following realistic guidelines to model how to get the most out of our available energy.