K-12 Resources

Energy is literally everywhere! It's all around us and even inside of us. Our whole universe is made from energy. There are many different types of energy – from light and heat energy to gravity, chemical energy, and electrical energy. (https://www.solarschools.net/knowledge-bank/energy

As important as energy is, it can be especially difficult to explain to younger students, which is why we have gathered a few of our favorite (free) resources for explaining energy concepts to K-12 students. This list will be updated, so come back often!

  • Websites

  • Videos

    • Energy 101 Videos

      This collection of videos from the U.S. Department of Energy covers many topics related to energy, all in five minutes or less!

    • ​Energy Efficiency: Our Best Source of Clean Energy

      From PolicyEd, this short video talks about the start of the movement towards energy efficiency and how important energy efficiency is in reducing the overall consumption of energy.

    • ​Energy Transformations

      This video from TurtleDiary talks about the different forms of energy and how energy is transformed into different types in the world around us.

    • ​Fossil Fuels 101

      ​From the group Student Energy, this video covers the origin of fossil fuels and how they are turned into energy and various products for our consumption.

    • ​Hydropower 101

      From the group Student Energy, this video covers the history and future of hydropower, touching on the means of energy storage and energy conversion.

    • ​Nuclear Energy: Is Fission the Future?

      Created by the California Academy of Sciences, this video talks about the pros and cons of nuclear energy and the role it will play in the future of energy.

    • ​Solar Power

      ​This video from NOVA labs covers the challenges and the future of solar power.

    • ​Wind Power

      ​This video from NOVA labs covers the history and future of wind power.

  • Lesson Plans

    • Choosing Energy-Efficient Appliances

      ​Utilizing computational math, students will calculate the energy consumption of devices and compare different products based on energy efficiency in this lesson plan from National Geographic.

      • Age group: 6-8th grade
      • Category: ​Energy Consumption, Energy Efficiency
      • Subject: Math
    • Design a Pipeline

      ​From Consumers Electric, this lesson plan explores the concept of natural gas and how this resource reaches our homes. The lesson also challenges students to design and draw their own pipeline on the provided template.

      • Age group: Elementary
      • Category: Oil & Gas
    • Energy Efficiency (HS)

      This Discovery Education lesson plan includes amble background information and a science experiment to measure the energy transferred from different types of lightbulbs to heated water.

      • Age group: Middle School
      • Category: Energy Efficiency
      • Subject: ​ Science
    • Energy Efficiency (MS)

      This Discovery Education lesson plan includes amble background information and a science experiment to measure the energy transferred from different types of lightbulbs to heated water.

      • Age group: High School
      • Category: Energy Efficiency
      • Subject: ​ Science
    • Energy from the Sun

      This lesson plan/worksheet from the U.S. Energy Information Administration has students compare the temperatures of thermometers placed in the sun with different colored reflectors.

      • Age group: Elementary School
      • Category: Solar Power
      • Subject: Science
    • Energy Use in the Americas

      ​This National Geographic resource guides students to calculate and compare energy consumption in countries in the Americas, analyzing the data graphically as well as plotting it on a world map.

      • Age group: 9-12th grade
      • Category: Energy Consumption
      • Subject: ​ Geography
    • Engineer a Dam

      This IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) lesson plan gives background to the history of dams and has students construct and test their own.

      • Age group: ​Middle school, high school
      • Category: Hydro Power
      • Subject: ​ Engineering
    • Flashlights and Batteries

      ​ This IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) lesson plan has students explore a flashlight and its simple circuit that provides power.

      • Age group: Elementary school
      • Category: ​ General Energy
      • Subject: ​ Science
    • Measuring the Wind

      This IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) lesson plan gives background to how scientists measure the wind in order to determine locations for wind farms and has students construct their own anemometer.

      • Age group: ​Middle school, high school
      • Category: Wind Energy
      • Subject: ​ Engineering
    • Oil Spill Solutions

      ​This IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) lesson plan gives background to oil spills and the various solutions that address these disasters. Also included is detailed instructions for an experiment for students to design, build, and test a system to contain an simulated oil spill.

      • Age group: High School
      • Category: Oil & Gas
      • Subject: ​ Engineering
    • Renewable Energy Living Lab

      This CLEAN (Climate Literacy & Energy Awareness Network) lesson plan has students analyze state data through a mapping tool developed by NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) to determine the best locations for different forms of renewable energy.

      • Age group: 6-8th grade
      • Category: Renewable Energy
    • Solar Energy and Diversifying Energy Resources

      ​This lesson plan from National Geographic has students read, analyze, and craft a position statement on a case study on the potential installation of a solar field on farming land.

      • Age group: 6-8th grade
      • Category: Solar Power
      • Subject: ​ Language Arts
    • Solar Power

      This IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) lesson plan gives background to solar energy and includes an experiment that uses solar cells to understand the power generation of this form of renewable energy.

      • Age group: Middle School
      • Category: Solar Power
      • Subject: ​ Science
    • Wasting Energy at Home

      This lesson plan details the many ways to conserve energy around the home and includes a worksheet and matching game to better help students learn about conservation.

      • Age group: Elementary school
      • Category: Energy Conservation
    • What Are Our Energy Choices?

      ​This 6-part lesson plan from National Geographic uses an online interactive website to help students compare the cost and benefits of different sources of energy, diving deep into natural gas and including a final lesson on energy efficiency.

      • Age group: 7-12th grade
      • Category: General Energy, Oil & Gas
    • Working with Watermills

      This IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) lesson plan gives background to the history of watermills and has students construct and test their own.

      • Age group: ​Middle school, high school
      • Category: Hydro Power
      • Subject: ​ Engineering
  • Additional Resources

    • Energy in the Round

      This interactive card game from the U.S. Energy Information Administration covers general energy concepts, from energy sources to forms of energy.

      • Age group: Middle School
      • Category: ​General Energy, Game
    • Plan it Green

      ​This National Geographic educational game has users select the correct order of components to build a variety of power plants. (Adobe Flash Player required)

      • Age group: 3-5th grade
      • Category: Energy Generation, Game
  • En Español

    • Aprende con energía

      Este es un sitio web creado por el gobierno de Chile que incluye varios recursos energéticos tales como infografías, juegos y otras actividades interactivas para uso de la comunidad.

    • Caja de calor solar

      Esta actividad de aprendizaje del Departamento de Educación de Puerto Rico demuestra a los estudiantes a través de la experimentación que distintos materiales y colores producen varias temperaturas.

      • Age group: Escuela intermedia
      • Category: Energía solar
      • Subject: Ciencias
    • Cómo medir el viento

      Esta lección del Instituto de Ingenieros Eléctricos y Electrónicos (IEEE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) brinda antecedentes sobre cómo los científicos miden el viento para determinar la ubicación de los parques eólicos y hace que los estudiantes construyan su propio anemómetro.

      • Age group: Escuela intermedia, escuela secundaria
      • Category: Energía eólica
      • Subject: Ingeniería
    • Departamento de Energía de EE.UU.

      Este sitio web fundado por el Departamento de Energía de Estados Unidos incluye folletos de actividades y videos para el uso general de educación energética.

    • Diseño de una represa

      Esta lección del Instituto de Ingenieros Eléctricos y Electrónicos (IEEE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) brinda antecedentes sobre la historia de las represas y hace que los estudiantes construyan y prueben sus propias represas.

      • Age group: Escuela intermedia, escuela secundaria
      • Category: Energía hidráulica
      • Subject: Ingeniería
    • El poder del sol

      Este libro publicado en el marco del programa de Socialización Comunitaria del Complejo Solar Cerro Dominador en colaboración con Verse Consultores abunda acerca del cambio climático y las formas de energía renovable. También, incluye diferentes actividades interactivas para la acción climática.

      • Age group: Escuela elemental
      • Category: Cambio climático, energía renovable
    • Khan Academy

      Khan Academy es un recurso sin fines de lucro sobre muchos temas educativos. Este sitio web incluye una amplia variedad de lecciones y ejercicios de Ciencia que utilizan videos cortos y fáciles de seguir.

    • MIENERGIA.cl

      Fundado por el Ministerio de Energía de Chile, este sitio web incluye videos y otros recursos valiosos para una amplia audiencia.

    • National Energy Education Development Project (NEED): Proyecto Nacional de Desarrollo de Educación Energética

      Este sitio web del Proyecto Nacional de Desarrollo de Educación Energética (NEED) reúne recursos de nivel elemental e intermedio sobre una amplia gama de de temas tanto para maestros como para estudiantes, incluyendo folletos educativos y actividades para el aula de clases.

    • Ponte en onda: folleto para colorear

      Este folleto del Departamento de energía de EE.UU. ofrece diferentes plantillas educativas para colorear relacionadas a las diferentes formas de energía renovable y fomenta el aprendizaje del uso correcto de energía.

      • Age group: Preescolar, escuela elemental
      • Category: Energía renovable
      • Subject: Ciencias
    • Ponte en onda: prende la energía limpia

      Este libreto de actividades del Departamento de energía de EE.UU. presenta un número de consejos y pistas sobre cómo tomar decisiones inteligentes, ahorrar dinero, y reducir nuestro impacto en el medio ambiente.

      • Age group: Escuela elemental, escuela intermedia
      • Category: Energía renovable
      • Subject: Ciencias
    • Public Broadcasting Service Learning Media

      El PBS Learning Media permite a los educadores y estudiantes ver videos idénticos tanto en Inglés como en Español sobre una amplia gama de temas de energía para una variedad de niveles de edad. También, hay ideas para lecciones que se encuentran clasificadas por nivel de grado, tema y tipo de recurso.

    • ¿Qué artefactos usan viento para funcionar?

      Este juego virtual de Aprende con energía ofrece la oportunidad para que los estudiantes aprendan acerca de los diferentes artefactos que utilizan viento para funcionar.

      • Age group: Escuela elemental
      • Category: Energía eólica
    • Soluciones para derrames de petróleo

      Esta lección del Instituto de Ingenieros Eléctricos y Electrónicos (IEEE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) brinda antecedentes sobre los derrames de petróleo y las diversas soluciones para estos desastres. También, incluye instrucciones detalladas para un experimento donde los estudiantes diseñan, construyen y prueban un sistema para contener un derrame de petróleo simulado.

      • Age group: Escuela secundaria
      • Category: Gas y petróleo
      • Subject: Ingeniería
    • Trabajo con molinos de agua

      Esta lección del Instituto de Ingenieros Eléctricos y Electrónicos (IEEE, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) brinda antecedentes sobre la historia de los molinos de agua y hace que los estudiantes construyan y prueben sus propios molinos.

      • Age group: Escuela intermedia, escuela secundaria
      • Category: Energía hidráulica
      • Subject: Ingeniería
    • Transformaciones energéticas óptimas en la naturaleza

      Esta infografía interactiva virtual de Discovery en la Escuela muestra una colección de videos acerca de las diferentes transformaciones de energía presentes en la naturaleza.

      • Age group: Escuela intermedia
      • Category: Transformación de energía, infografía