TEACHER TOOLKIT

PECO Energy Company and NTC invite you to use these e-learning resources to teach your students about energy efficiency. The digital materials below are designed to get your students excited about understanding this important subject.

Want to know the best way to use the related videos, e-books, games, smart speaker activity and other lessons to educate your class? Watch this short video and learn how to easily add The Conservation Caper to your curriculum!


EDUCATOR VIDEO


Educational Standards  

We know your class time is extremely valuable. That’s why we ensure that all of our digital e-learning materials are aligned with state and national educational standards. It’s important that the The Conservation Caper digital program adds to your existing curriculum and keeps students on track with their ongoing learning.

See below for details about how each digital activity aligns with educational standards and corresponds with your state’s curricula.

Educational Standards

PROGRAM OVERVIEW  

Debuting this year, our livestream offers teachers a convenient, online-accessible option for experiencing educational theatre.

This 35-minute show presents a virtual lesson in energy efficiency for grades K-5. Through an interactive web platform, a live host will introduce entertaining sketches featuring a variety of characters in professionally filmed scenes from educational theatrical productions.

The sketches focus on the following educational points:

  • What energy is
  • The uses of energy
  • How energy is wasted
  • Ways to conserve energy

Whether watching in the classroom or at home, your students will experience important lessons about energy efficiency.

HANDS-ON LESSONS  

Your students can enhance the learning from the program video with these fun, hands-on lessons and experiments. These lessons can be done in the classroom or easily adapted for students to do at home with their family.

The materials needed for these lessons are basic supplies that most people have at home. They’re a fun and educational way for students to learn with family members. Follow up with your students to make sure they enjoyed and learned from these activities.

Lesson 1:

Too Hot to Handle

Turbine
Introduction

Incandescent lightbulbs are the most commonly used lightbulbs. However, LED bulbs use 1/4 the energy and last as much as 10 times longer. Incandescent lightbulbs are not energy efficient because only 10% of the electricity is used for light and the other 90% escapes as heat. LED bulbs do not use a metal filament to create light, but instead use semiconductors that require less electricity to create the same amount of light.

Objective

Students will understand the concept of how energy shows itself as heat, light, sound or motion

Purpose of Activity

Review, Identify Details, Communicate, Create

21st Century Skills

Critical Thinking

Cognitive Level

Strategic and Extended Thinking

Class Time

25 minutes

Materials
  • One 60-watt incandescent bulb
  • One 60-watt equivalent LED bulb
  • Thermometer
  • Lamp
Procedure

Divide the class into teams. Teams of three or four work best.

  1. Have an adult place the LED bulb in the lamp and turn it on. Observe the light that is produced.
  2. Hold a thermometer six inches above the bulb for one minute and record the temperature. Turn off the lamp and let the bulb cool.
  3. Have an adult remove the LED bulb. Place the incandescent bulb in the lamp and turn it on. Observe the light that is produced.
  4. Hold a thermometer six inches above the bulb for one minute and record the temperature.

Is there a noticeable difference in how much light the two bulbs produced?

  • The light should be about the same.

Did one bulb produce more heat than the other?

  • The incandescent bulb should produce more heat.

Which bulb is more energy efficient?

  • The LED is more energy efficient since it takes less energy to produce the same amount of light.

Lesson 2:

Classroom Energy Hunt

Objective

This audit will help you and your students examine your classroom to identify ways your class can help conserve energy. Habits like turning lights off when not in use are important for conserving energy for the future. Creating a draft detector is a simple way to find air leaks in windows and doors to determine energy efficiency.

Purpose of Activity

Review, Identify Details, Communicate, Create

21st Century Skills

Critical Thinking

Cognitive Level

Strategic and Extended Thinking

Class Time

25 minutes

Materials
  • Pencils
  • Tape
  • Tissue paper
Procedure

  1. Cut a piece of tissue paper the same length as the pencil.
  2. Tape the tissue paper to the pencil.
  3. Trim the length of the paper to six inches.
How to use the draft detector

Hold the draft detector close to the edges of windows or doors where they meet the wall. Hold still for 30 seconds. Make sure that heating or cooling vents are not blowing the paper. If the draft detector moves, it means that energy is escaping because the windows or doors are not airtight. This means the furnace or air conditioner has to produce more energy to heat and cool the room because the air is escaping.

Start the energy hunt

  1. Hold the draft detector up to the sides of a window where the window meets the wall. See if the draft detector moves as you hold it in front of the seam.
  2. Hold the draft detector up to the edges of doors. Do you detect air moving through the cracks of the door?
  3. Are there electrical devices on that could be turned off?
  4. Where are the heating and cooling vents? Is there anything blocking them that can be moved?
  5. Are there coverings to block out the sun’s heat on hot days?
  6. Where is the thermostat located? At what temperature is the thermostat set?
  7. How many LED lightbulbs are in the classroom?

Why is it important to save energy and what can your class do to save energy?

  • Saving energy saves money and the environment.
  • Turning off lights and computers that are not in use can help save energy.

Are there other places in the school that would benefit by being tested with the draft detector?

  • Other classrooms, offices, cafeteria, etc.

Lesson 3:

Lesson 1: Electricity Every Day  

Introduction

Electricity is a form of energy. Electricity powers many of the things people use every day. Despite its importance in our daily lives, few people probably stop to think what life would be like without electricity. But we use electricity to do many jobs for us every day – from lighting, heating, and cooling our homes to powering our televisions and computers. This activity helps illustrate the effect electricity has on our daily lives.

Killowatt Kitchen
Objective

Students will understand the effect electricity has on their daily lives.

Purpose of Activity

Review, Identify Details, Communicate, Create

21st Century Skills

Communication, Creativity

Cognitive Level

Strategic and Extended Thinking

Class Time

30 minutes

Materials

Chalkboard or whiteboard

Procedure

  • Ask the students to identify things in the classroom that use electricity. Write these answers on the board. Have them continue to identify things at home that also use electricity.
  • The students will write (or draw a picture) about everything they do all day that uses electricity. (Example: My alarm clock woke me up, I turned on the lamps, I dried my hair with a hair dryer, made toast, etc.)
  • Present the stories to the class.

How important is electricity to your daily life? To the daily life of the school or of the city?

  • Without electricity we would not be able to use computers or lights at school. Businesses could not run and everyday life would be impossible.

What would be different if there was no electricity?

  • None of our appliances would work. Businesses and schools could not operate.

Are there ways you could use less electricity today?

  • Turn off lights and appliances. Replace old lightbulbs with energy-efficient ones. Use smart appliances and programmable thermostats.

EDUCATOR ASSESSMENTS  

Follow-up, formative assessments for you to gauge the learning of your students are especially important with e-learning. Below are some suggestions for how you can assess your students’ performance quickly and effectively.

These assessments are easy for you and your students to complete and help ensure your class is getting the maximum educational value, retention and engagement from the related digital activities.

STUDENT ACTIVITIES  

The Conservation Caper student activities page features games, videos, e-books, educational lessons, downloadable PDFs, a smart speaker app and more. Access in the classroom or at home to learn more about energy efficiency and have fun exploring The Conservation Caper!

Access Student Activities

Student Playbook

This downloadable PDF features colorful artwork, entertaining games and activities, and expanded information to complete your understanding of energy efficiency. Read on your own, with your class or with friends and family and get to know the characters of The Conservation Caper.

Explore the Student Playbook

E-book

Flip through this colorful, illustrated e-book in the classroom or at home with friends and family. Students can read to themselves or with others, and younger students can use the read-along option.

Access the E-book

Graphic Novel

Flip through this colorful graphic novel for a new and engaging story. With fun artwork, entertaining characters and expanded information, the Electrana graphic novel offers a page-turning experience.

Access the Graphic Novel

EVALUATION

We take your feedback and suggestions very seriously. Hearing from educators with firsthand experience with our programs ensures that we continue to improve our digital resources, making them as beneficial as possible for you and your students.

Please complete this brief, two-minute evaluation to let us know what you thought. Enter the code you received on the Teacher Instruction Card or call us for your access code.

Thank you for your time and valuable input.

EXPANDED INFORMATION & ADDITIONAL RESOURCES  

You’ve covered the basics of energy efficiency. If you really want to dig deep with your class, explore the expanded information and additional resources below.

These materials provide even more insight into the history, science, usage and importance of energy. There are also helpful links and tips for conservation in your community.

Expanded Information 1:

When it comes to our everyday activities, some of us use more energy than others. But we can all be more energy efficient. Find out how you can help! Here are nine things you and your students can do to save energy:

  1. Turn off the lights when you leave the room.
  2. Turn off televisions, tablets and video games when you’re finished using them. Unplug computers, cellphone chargers and devices that have a ‘standby’ mode when they are not in use.
  3. Don’t stand in front of the open refrigerator door searching for what you want. Decide what you want ahead of time, then open the door and grab it.
  4. Ask your parents to replace your regular lightbulbs with LED bulbs.
  5. Use a small lamp when you read or study instead of turning on all the lights in the room.
  6. Help your parents shop for appliances with the ENERGY STAR® label – these products save energy.
  7. In the winter, open your curtains or blinds to let the sun heat your room.
  8. Take short showers instead of baths.
  9. Keep the thermostat set above 74°F in the summer and at or below 68°F in the winter.

Expanded Information 2:

Expanded Info: How We Generate Electricity

Introduction

Read the passage below to your students and ask them the discussion questions that follow.

Read to your class

We use electricity every day to power our TVs, computers, video games, lamps and about a million other things. But where does electricity come from, and how does it get into those funny looking holes in the wall?

Let’s go backwards. The outlets in your wall are connected to a series of wires that lead to utility poles outside of your house or apartment building. These wires then lead to transformers or substations, which, in turn, lead to a power plant. It’s in the power plant that the electricity is created.

In the 1800s, scientists discovered that when a magnet is dragged across a series of copper wires, it creates a field of electricity. The problem is, in order to keep your lightbulb lit, there has to be a constant current of electricity flowing through it, which means the magnet has to be continually moving. To solve this problem, the magnets in the power plant are surrounded by wires on all sides. So if the magnets spin in a circle, they create a nonstop current.

But how do we keep that magnet spinning? One way is to attach it to a turbine. A turbine is like a giant fan. Imagine a child’s pinwheel. If the magnet were attached to that pinwheel, then it would spin any time the child blew on it. In the power plant, the pinwheel-like turbine isn’t spun by a child with amazing lung capacity, but instead with steam. By focusing steam through smaller and smaller pipes, it becomes so powerful it can spin the turbine with great ease.

All that steam comes from boiling large amounts of water. The more water we boil, the more steam we produce; which takes us to resources. All of that water has to boil somehow, and we make that happen by burning resources like coal, oil and natural gas. The more electricity we make, the more resources it takes to make it. And because there’s only so much coal, oil and natural gas in the world, it’s more important than ever that we conserve, or save, electricity wherever possible.

Build a Power Plant

Use the objects below to build a power plant. Click on the play button to start.

turbine generator

What is another way we can spin the turbine?

  • We can put a turbine in a river. This is how hydroelectric dams work.
  • We can also use the wind to spin a turbine in a windmill.

What happens when we run out of resources like coal or natural gas?

  • They’re gone. We will have to use renewable resources like wind, solar or hydro.

PECO Energy Company wants you to remember: Do your part, be Earth smart!