By JENNIFER CUTRARO and HOLLY EPSTEIN OJALVO
Overview How can new buildings be designed in ways that minimize their energy use? How can energy be used more efficiently in existing buildings? In this lesson, students learn about green building design, perform energy audits of their schools and then develop proposals for making their schools more energy efficient.
Materials Computers with Internet access or research resources, copies of a sketch of your classroom or common space in the school, student notebooks
Warm-up Before class, draw up and photocopy a simple sketch of your classroom or a common space in the school, like the library, the cafeteria, the auditorium or the student center, detailing the location of doors, windows, outlets and walls.
At the start of class, have the students form three groups, and assign each group one of the following prompts:
1.What are all the ways in which our school uses energy?
2.How would you figure out how much energy our school uses every day?
3.How could our school conserve energy or use it more efficiently?
Have the groups brainstorm for several minutes, then ask students to give their ideas. Clarify as needed.....