Students investigate passive solar building design with a focus on heating. Insulation, window placement, thermal mass, surface colors, and site orientation are addressed in the background materials and design preparation. Students test their projects for thermal gains and losses during a simulated day and night then compare designs with other teams for suggestions for improvements.

Students investigate how much greenhouse gas (carbon dioxide and methane) their family releases into the atmosphere each year and relate it to climate change. To address this, students use the Environmental Protection Agency Personal Emissions Calculator to estimate their family's greenhouse gas emissions and to think about how their family could reduce those emissions.

In this classroom activity, students analyze regional energy usage data and their own energy bills to gain an understanding of individual consumption, regional uses, costs, and sources of energy.

In this activity, students calculate the cost of the energy used to operate a common three-bulb light fixture, and compare the costs and amount of CO2 produced for similar incandescent and compact fluorescent light bulbs.

This multi-week project begins with a measurement of baseline consumptive behavior followed by three weeks of working to reduce the use of water, energy, high-impact foods, and other materials. The assignment uses an Excel spreadsheet that calculates direct energy and water use as well as indirect CO2 and water use associated with food consumption. After completing the project, students understand that they do indeed play a role in the big picture. They also learn that making small changes to their lifestyles is not difficult and they can easily reduce their personal impact on the environment.

In this activity, students learn about the energy sources used by their local utility provider to generate electricity, and work in small groups to evaluate the sustainability of either a renewable or non-renewable energy source used to generate electricity.

In this hands-on activity, students explore whether rooftop gardens are a viable option for combating the urban heat island effect. The guiding question is: Can rooftop gardens reduce the temperature inside and outside of houses?

This is a laboratory activity in which students will compare the amount of carbon dioxide in four different sources of gas and determine the carbon dioxide contribution from automobiles. They test ambient air, human exhalation, automobile exhaust, and nearly pure carbon dioxide from a vinegar/baking soda mixture.

This activity relates water temperature to fishery health within inland freshwater watersheds as a way to explore how environmental factors of an ecosystem affect the organisms that use those ecosystems as important habitat.

In this Webquest activity, students assume roles of scientist, business leader, or policy maker. The students then collaborate as part of a climate action team and learn how society and the environment might be impacted by global warming. They explore the decision making process regarding issues of climate change, energy use, and available policy options. Student teams investigate how and why climate is changing and how humans may have contributed to these changes. Upon completion of their individual tasks, student teams present their findings and make recommendations that address the situation.

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