Digital Resource Package for Teaching Energy

Tutorials and Instructional Resources K-8

  1. Energy Quest This Web site includes various energy-related activities and learning links especially suitable for students in grades K-8. It describes what energy is, how it works, and how to save it. It includes simple definitions of energy and pictures, movies, and teacher resources to relate energy to everyday world.
  2. Energy: An Introduction An introduction to the forms and changes in energy. This lesson discusses potential and kinetic energy as well as introducing the 1st and 2nd law of thermodynamics. Includes questions and quizzes as well as more links.
  3. The Physics Classroom: Work, Energy, and Power Lesson 1 of this resource describes work, kinetic, potential, and mechanical energy, and power conceptually and mathematically. Lesson 2 addresses the Work-Energy Theorem. The resource provides examples enhanced by illustrations, and problems for practice with drop down boxes for your answers and feedback.
  4. Energy Flows This activity introduces students to different forms of energy, energy transformations, energy storage, and the flow of energy through systems. Students learn that most energy can be traced back to nuclear fusion on the sun.
  5. Sensing Energy In this lesson, students will identify different forms of energy produced by the sun and perform simple experiments that will help them to explore unseen energy produced by the sun. Students will be exposed to the concept that the sun produces both visible and invisible forms of energy.
  6. Energy Flow This cartoon depicts the transfer of energy in a food chain. The resource is an interactive illustration of a farm scene depicting the flow of energy between the sun, a cornfield, a cow and a human.
  7. Energy Tutorial This tutorial includes the following topics: fossil fuels, nuclear energy, solar energy, wind energy, geothermal, biomass, hydroelectric, energy conversion, fuel cell, combustion, gasification, and environmental impacts and trends.
  8. Kids: What is Energy? This resource provides information about renewable and nonrenewable sources of energy supplemented with diagrams, maps, and graphs. It includes the energy timeline, fun facts, games & activities, classroom activities, and a tutorial that defines and gives examples of energy and energy change for K-8 teachers and their students.
  9. Energy Conservation This lesson is designed to help students apply the pollution prevention (P2) concept to the use of energy. It provides guidance and activities that explain renewable and nonrenewable energy sources, and how P2 concepts can be used to conserve energy. This site also offers a fact sheet with background information.
  10. The Energy Game: Finding Energy Resources This activity demonstrates that energy, the environment and economics are closely tied. Students will learn the concepts of scarcity, opportunity cost, net energy profit, law of diminishing returns, and that availability does not mean usefulness.
  11. Home Energy Quiz Students take a Home Energy Quiz to identify home improvements that could make their homes more energy efficient. The resource includes follow-up information about energy-saving activities, supporting the student examination of energy use, energy efficiency and conservation.
  12. Florida Solar Energy Center FSEC's website contains educational resources for children and adults, including workshops and courses about working with solar energy systems, energy gauge rater training, and building science training and certification. Also available are useful guides about home energy ratings, maximizing energy efficiency in the home, energy efficient home-design tips, and information about solar energy.
  13. Media

  14. Energy Sources This video points out that we are consuming fossil fuels at a rate far faster than they can be produced, and that combustion of these materials to produce energy releases carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. It also discusses some current and future alternatives for supplying energy, and describes some of the benefits and limitations inherent in each. The segment is about 6 minutes in length. A background essay and discussion questions are included.
  15. Energy Flow This feature follows the path of energy as it is transferred via the food chain (starting with photosynthesis) from one type of organism to another.
  16. Energy in a Roller Coaster Ride See potential energy convert to kinetic energy in this interactive activity that shows a roller coaster in action.
  17. Reference Material

  18. Introduction to Energy This document introduces the learner to the concept of energy. The reading will define energy and discuss topics such as (1) Potential energy, (2) Kinetic energy, (3) Conservation of Energy, (4) Energy Efficiency, (5) Sources of Energy, (6) Measuring Energy, (7) Energy use, (8) Who uses energy?, and (9) Energy use and prices. The document also depicts illustrations of energy transformations, efficiency of power plants, U.S. energy consumption by source, and percentage of energy use by industrial, commercial, residential, and transportation sectors.
  19. Energy Resources This reference provides an overview of current and alternative energy sources, including: fossil fuels, nuclear, solar, wind, tidal, hydro-electric, pumped storage reservoirs, wave, geothermal and biomass energy. Each section features a brief description of how the energy source works, a list of advantages and disadvantages, and a short explanation of whether the energy source is renewable. There is also a summary page and a quiz for each energy type.
  20. Explore More: The Future of EnergySources, uses, and issues related to energy. Videos and interviews with experts.
  21. Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) This U.S. Department of Energy site provides access to more than 600 links and 80,000 documents about renewable energy and energy efficient technologies, including such topics as: bioenergy, hydrogen, power from the oceans, and wind, solar, geothermal, and hydroenergy.
  22. Energy consumption The reading explors energy consumption or energy usage in the United States and discusses specific topics such as (1) Who uses energy?, (2) Homes and commerce, (3) Heating and Cooling, (4) Lighting, (5) Appliances, (6) Appliance efficiency ratings, (7) Payback period, (8) Industrial sector, (9) Petroleum refining, (10) Steel manufacturing, (11) Aluminum Manufacturing, (12) Paper manufacturing, (13) Chemical Manufacturing, (14) Cement Manufacturing, (15) The Transportation Sector, (16) The Automobile, and (17) Commercial transportation. The document also depicts illustrations of energy use percentages, lighting efficiency, energy guide, percentage of petroleum products, U.S. oil refinery operating expenses, reduction in energy use 1973-2003, average fuel efficiency of passenger cars, air transport passenger miles per gallon, and tractor trailer truck mileage.
  23. Energy This web page provides an introduction and overview of potential and kinetic energy, and a discussion of transformations of other forms of energy. A lesson plan and related page on Work are also linked to this page.
  24. Alternative Energy: Solar Energy This site provides an introduction to the use of the sun's energy. Topics include the history of solar energy usage and its more recent adaptations. There is also discussion of how the sun produces and radiates energy, what happens when it reaches Earth, types of solar systems, and the most common use of solar energy (heating).