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K-4, 5-8


Energy Efficiency and Conservation


In this exercise, students will use a light to demonstrate the difference between being energy-efficient and energy-wasteful, and learn what energy efficiency means. After the lesson, they should be able to discuss the following:

  • How does using less energy help our environment?
  • Do compact fluorescent light bulbs and standard light bulbs create the same amount of light?
  • How do you know if one light bulb is more efficient than another light bulb?
  • What is one way we can save energy at home?
  • Brainstorm: what are other ways we can save energy?

Math, Language Arts, Social Studies, Technology

Plan Time

30 minutes


Compact fluorescent bulb, incandescent bulb, thermometer


National Standards: K-4

  • PRI-A: 1.b. Plan and conduct a simple investigation.
  • PRI-A: 1.c. Employ simple equipment and tools to gather data and extend the senses.
  • PRI-A: 1.d. Use data to construct a reasonable explanation.
  • PRI-A: 1.e. Communicate investigations and explanations.
  • PRI-F: 3.c. The supply of many resources is limited. If used, resources can be extended through recycling and decreased use.

National Standards: 5-8

  • INT-F: 4.c. Students can use a systematic approach to thinking critically about risks and benefits.
  • INT-F: 4.d. Important personal and social decisions are made based on perceptions of benefits and risks.
  • INT-F: 5.b. Societal challenges often inspire questions for scientific research, and societal priorities often influence research priorities.
  • INT-F: 5.c. Technology influences society through its products and processes. Technological changes are often accompanied by social, political, and economic changes that can be beneficial or detrimental to individuals and to society. Social needs, attitudes, and values influence the direction of technological development.
  • INT-F: 5.d. Science and technology have contributed enormously to economic growth and productivity among societies and groups within societies.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Lesson Plans/Activity