Resources for Energy & Society Activity 5 – In the Driver’s Seat

In this activity, students learn about gasoline, then explore fuel conservation and energy efficiency by simulating the distance they can travel on a set amount of gasoline using different vehicles.

This is one of 6 activities that can be found in PLT’s Energy & Society kitTo get the activity, attend a training or purchase the kit now from shop.plt.org. Below are some supporting resources for this activity. 

STUDENT PAGES

Download the copyright free student pages that are included with this activity:

Travel Log (PDF)

RECOMMENDED READING

Expand your students’ learning and imaginations. Help students meet their reading goals while building upon concepts learned in this activity with the following children’s book recommendations:

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Every month we carefully select new tools and resources that enhance PLT’s lessons. These include educational apps, videos, posters, interactive websites, careers information, and teacher-generated materials. Browse a chronological listing below:

  • A Guide to the Energy of the Earth

    As the demand for energy increases throughout the globe it is sourced through a variety of cycles connecting the sun to our food chain to electricity and beyond. Yet, if energy is neither created nor destroyed, where does it come from? TED-Ed Original lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. In this TED-Ed lesson, A Guide to the Energy of the Earth, educator Joshua M. Sneideman examines the many ways in which the energy all around us is captured and sourced. This 5-minute video is also supported with 10 assessment questions.

  • How Electricity Works Infographic

    Help students understand the science of electricity with this animated infographic from SaveOnEnergy.com. It includes the basics of electricity all the way to how we harness this power to fuel homes, schools, hospitals and more.

  • Ted-Ed: Create a Lesson

    Looking for a way to incorporate more technology into your teaching? TED-Ed produces original animated videos and pairs them with questions and resources for teachers to create their own interactive lessons. Once you create a free account, simply search the topic you want to develop a lesson around and use the TED-Ed platform to build a customized lesson around any TED-Ed Original, TED Talk, or other educational video. Check out the example below.

    TED-Ed: Guide to Energy on Earth The global demand for energy continues to increase. But where does energy come from, and where does it go? These are just some of the questions that you can help your students answer with this Guide to the Energy of the Earth by TED-Ed. The online lesson guide includes a short video, questions for discussion, and additional resources to explore the topic further. 

  • Energy e-Books

    Stamford University and KQED public media have created digital textbooks for high school students and lifelong learners. Offering a broad introduction to the topic of energy, these multimedia e-books— Energy: The Basics and Energy: Use and Efficiencyfeature animations, in-depth articles, and a glossary of energy terms, along with videos exploring topics such as geothermal energy, the solar power industry, and the diverse careers in the renewable energy field. Access the e-Books and a companion iTunes University course.

  • Water Kids

    This site, from the Water Education Foundation, provides graphics and text on topics including the water cycle, surface water vs. groundwater, the Earth’s water supply, and water conservation. Their mission is to create a better understanding of water issues and to help resolve water resource problems through educational programs.

  • U.S. Department of Energy Multimedia

    This U.S. Department of Energy website provides links to animations, videos, and audio files on energy sources, with a focus on energy efficiency and renewable energy.Energy Guides for SchoolsAdvanced Energy Design Guide for K–12 School BuildingsThe website of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers provides guidelines and approaches for achieving advanced levels of energy savings.

  • National Energy Foundation

    National Energy Foundation is a nonprofit educational organization that develops and disseminates supplementary energy and natural resources education materials.

  • Climate Change around the World

    An article in BBC News that discusses impacts of global warming in countries around the world and in major sectors of society: health, water, food, ecosystems, coasts, and industry.

  • US EPA Wastes Website

    US EPA Wastes Website is divided into four sections – What You Can Do, Resource Conservation, Hazardous Waste, and Nonhazardous Waste – this EPA website contains information to spark classroom conversations about waste.  For example, What You Can Do has categorized resources to help consumers generate less waste in the home, in the community, at the office, in industry, and at the store.  In Your Home tells how to make environmentally friendly choices at home by “green scaping” yards and gardens and properly discarding household medical waste, electronics, used motor oil, and more.

  • Women@Energy

    In profiles of women working in various roles at the Department of Energy, women share what inspired them to work in a STEM field, what excites them about their work, and what ideas they have for getting more underrepresented groups engaged in STEM fields. The website is useful for middle and high school students interested in learning about STEM careers.

  • Superfund for Students

    At this EPA website, students can learn about four different types of hazardous waste (groundwater contamination, surface water contamination, soil contamination, and air contamination) and how to clean up each type. Later, students can test their knowledge of hazardous wastes with the Superfund Scavenger Hunt or Superfund quiz.

  • Wind Power Information

    At www.windturbines.net , visitors can join a community of wind energy professionals and access facts, maps, information, videos, and news stories about the use of wind technology worldwide.  Check out this popular video, which describes a propeller-free turbine design that can be used in residential homes

  • Professor Sneeze: Climate Change Stories for Children

    Professor Sneeze stories were developed by the International Polar Foundation.  The interactive climate stories targeted at ages 5-12 explain ways to save energy; while the stories available for 8-12 year olds explain how energy is produced by wind, sun, and water.  Professor Sneeze’s website also features kids craft ideas and photos from areas affected by climate change.

  • Essential Energy Info

    This website features essential energy information from the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the Institute of Medicine, and the National Research Council. Targeted at a nonscientific audience, the site presents facts about America’s current energy system in four main topics: energy uses, energy sources, energy costs, and energy efficiency. Teachers will find an energy quiz, a glossary, and an extensive source library.

  • Energy Quest

    Energy Quest is an effort by the California Energy Commission to provide resources to teachers and students all about energy: its different forms, how it is generated, its sources and how to protect and conserve it. The Energy Quest website is arranged in easy-to-use tabs that lead to a rich, comprehensive supply of teaching material. The website’s interactive interface is useful and educational to both teachers and students alike.

  • Energy4me

    Explore energy and its related concepts with resources from The Society of Petroleum Engineers’ Energy4me program. Compare energy sources, request or download a copy of the book Oil and Natural Gas, explore current energy challenges, and more.

  • Energy Literacy Videos from DOE

    Energy is an abstract and important concept that concerns all things on earth and plays a role in many natural and social science processes. Uncover the power of understanding energy by watching the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Seven Principles of Energy Literacy video series. This series breaks down key information about energy’s functions including flow, amount, and quality, in addition to looking at how quality of life, economics, politics, and environment are affected by how we create and utilize energy. 

  • Energy Zones Mapping Tool

    The Energy Zones Mapping Tool is a free online database that allows users to map existing and potential energy resources in the 39 easternmost states. Users can run site-suitability analyses for a variety of renewable energy sources, including biomass, solar, water, wind, natural gas, geothermal, and nuclear power. Regional, custom maps of existing energy resources and environmental characteristics that impact energy development can also be created using overlapping and interactive layers. This tool is hosted by the Eastern Interconnection States’ Planning Council (EISPC), among other project partners. 

  • Sustainability in Bioenergy: A Nation Connected

    This informative documentary, Sustainability in Bioenergy: A Nation Connected, produced by the US Department of Energy, highlights ongoing efforts in communities nationwide to develop, produce, and provide bioenergy. From farmers and families in the Midwest to researchers and business owners on the coasts, the video provides firsthand views and personal stories describing bioenergy-related projects and how they work to create new jobs and lessen humans’ impact on the environment.