Resources for PreK-8 Activity 85 – In the Driver’s Seat

In this activity, students keep a log of their family’s transportation for a week, learn how petroleum is refined, and then explore fuel conservation and energy efficiency by simulating the distance they can travel using different vehicles.

This is one of 96 activities that can be found in PLT’s PreK-8 Environmental Education Activity Guide. To get the activity, attend a training either in person or online and receive PLT’s PreK-8 Guide. 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)

 

Spanish Student Page(s):

Bitacora de Viaje (PDF)

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:

  • Climate Challenge Board Game

    Games4Sustainability can help you incorporate a sustainability-themed game in your activities to improve our understanding of important global issues today. Narrow your search from among 100+ games and simulations by filtering the games by the UN Sustainable Development Goals or use the advanced search for more options. Challenges include topics of food, climate, security and public health. For example, in the Climate Challenge, players face the crucial trade-off between long term sustainability and short-term economic growth. Provide your students with a unique challenge to problem solve and practice decision making.

  • Nature Works

    Did you know that nature works to power the things you depend on every day such as your smartphone, refrigerator, and more! Thanks to energy from the earth we can power all these things. This 5-minute video from PBS Learning Media, Nature Works – To Make Clean Energy discusses sustainable energy sources. It also explains how sustainable energy sources support the environment and minimize harm. Learn more about the benefits of renewable technologies of energy with this video.

  • Beat the Uncertainty: Planning Climate-Resilient Cities

    Imagine you and your friends are citizens, policymakers, business leaders, and nonprofit leaders of a coastal city. As a decision maker, your job is to make sure your city is resilient to the impacts of climate change. Use this game, Beat the Uncertainty: Planning Climate-Resilient Cities, with students to help them visualize the impact of climate change and rising sea levels. This simulation was adapted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Download the instructions and game booklet!

  • 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.

  • STEM Teaching Tools

    The University of Washington’s Institute of Science and Math created Practice Briefs.  These free articles highlight ways of working on specific issues that come up during STEM teaching. These briefs helps K-12 educators and administrators stay informed on teaching STEM issues, including STEM issues relating to teaching NGSS and implementing meaningful STEM learning. Each brief is separated into digestible sections and includes recommended actions for educators.

  • Think Green Infographic

    Produced by the EPA, this Think Green Infographic is a great way to get your students thinking through simple, thought-provoking questions – Do You Really Need It?, How “Green” Is It?, Can You Reuse It?, and Can You Buy It Used? The graphic provides tips and action steps middle and high schoolers can take to reduce their impact on the environment and promote conservation.

  • Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy in Low-Income Communities

    Investing in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and climate protection programs is an important way for state and local governments to provide a variety of benefits to low-income communities, including energy cost savings, job creation, improved air quality, and healthier homes. EPA’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy in Low-Income Communities guide helps state and local staff connect with local and national initiatives that can assist them in expanding or developing their own EE and climate initiatives in ways that benefit low-income communities.

  • Water Calculator and Conservation Tips

    The GRACE Water Program is home to the Water Footprint Calculator, which estimates the water you use directly from the tap as well as the “virtual water” that goes into producing your food, clothing, and more. The program provides tools, tips and information on water conservation.

  • Turn Pedals, Not Keys

    Three university students from Maine created a blog to further explore the ideas presented in PLT’s Activity 85: In the Driver’s Seat.  Visit their blog, entitled Turn Pedals Not Keys, to view videos and information related to exhaust emissions, effects of using fossil fuels, public transportation, and more.

  • Extraordinary Road Trip

    This educational computer program is designed to teach players how to analyze the transportation variables affecting air quality. This Web site is host to global warming studies and other news concerning fuel efficiency and air quality. 

  • Energyhog.org

    The Alliance to Save Energy’s Energy Hog campaign is educating teachers, kids and parents about energy efficiency.  Why?  Saving energy lessens our dependence on foreign oil, improves our air and water quality, and reduces our energy bills.  To help spread energy efficiency in the classroom, print out Student and Teacher Guides or explore the rest of the site, including the interactive Hog and Seek game.  

  • Water Calculator

    The H2O Conserve Water Calculator is a short survey that will get you thinking about how much water you use, and how water connects to almost every aspect of your life. The Conserve Water Calculator compares individual daily water usage with the national average. It also provides suggestions of how to save more water using improved practices. Beyond the calculator, the site provides valuable educational materials and activities to engage students in water conservation issues.

  • EPA Tools

    EPA tools let computer users “see” air quality information on a virtual globe:

  • International Student Carbon Footprint Challenge

    Teachers and students now have the opportunity to use and explore a new, student-focused International Carbon Footprint Calculator. After testing the tool, students can then share their experience, results, and personal perspectives regarding climate change and related environmental concerns on the Einztein social learning network with other students around the world. Check out the International Student Carbon Footprint Challenge website to participate, calculate, compare, and connect today! 

  • Zero Carbon

    A free app that can be downloaded for Apple devices. Zero Carbon can calculate an individual’s carbon footprint by looking at a person’s daily habits. Once you know the amount of greenhouse gases your lifestyle is producing, this app offers tips on reducing that number. Zero Carbon also shows how your statistics stack up against world averages, and it can be connected to Facebook, for sharing results.

  • 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.

  • STEM Design Challenge: Edible Cars

    The Teaching Channel is a video showcase – on the internet and TV – of innovative and effective teaching practices in America’s schools. One of the many STEM design challenges, Edible Cars, showcases how teachers and students might integrate science, engineering, technology, and math- along with creativity and art. 

  • EPA’s Carbon Footprint Calculator

    The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website provides an interactive carbon footprint calculator designed for use by students in middle or high school. The calculator begins by asking students to investigate some baseline data points, such as their average home energy usage, transportation habits, and waste disposal process. Then, the calculator offers ways impact reduction by offering tangible conservation tips alongside estimated annual savings. This is an excellent tool for making home connections, as well as a compliment to PLT GreenSchools!