How much carbon do you produce on a daily basis, and how could you reduce that amount in order to help reduce global warming? This is one of the activities that students will do as part of this unit. It was written for use in a fourth-grade classroom but can be extended for use in grades two through six. The unit has a two-fold objective. The first is to educate students about the need for the development of renewable energy sources for the future. This includes wind, hydropower, biomass, nuclear, hydrogen, and solar. An activity or experiment for each of these sources is included for students to do. The unit also recognizes that the nonrenewable sources of energy we now rely on are in limited supply. These include oil, coal, and natural gas. The unit calls on students to research ways to conserve the supply of these energy sources. Students will utilize the Web to calculate their carbon footprint and discover how they can reduce the amount of carbon in their daily lives. Students will present their findings at an energy fair in which they will educate other students, teachers, and their own families about the energy crisis. The unit provides an annotated list of books for teachers and students. There is also a list of Web resources. The unit also references the local and state curriculum standards that are covered.
(Developed for Science, grade 4; recommended for Science, grades 2-6)