Core Content Sections
For each of the three content sections (Safety-SMART, Energy-SMART, and Energy Science-SMART) there is a student worksheet that tests students’ retention of core concepts. For hands-on learning to support these concepts, please see the Experiments and Activities component correlating to each section. All of these features are found in the Teachers section.
Some teachers find it useful to have students report back to the class what they learned after playing these games. Or you may wish to use the games as a fun reward or review of what’s been learned elsewhere on the site. Consider the following discussion ideas.
- Shock Blocker: Kids will stop the lightning bolt from appearing three times in a row on the gameboard.
- Energy Saver Calculator: What are the easiest energy-saving changes to make? (Student opinions will vary; this is a question to get them thinking about what changes they could make at home.) Which of the household energy-saving practices saves the most money? (Line-drying clothes.) What are the next two top energy-saving practices? (Turning down the water heater and replacing incandescent bulbs with CFLs.) Why are CO2 emissions stated in the calculator? (Because they are a major contributor to global warming. The EPA estimates that an average household of two in the U.S. produces about 41,500 lbs of CO2 emissions in a year, and about 27,000 lbs of that is due to electricity and natural gas use.Energy efficiency practices can help reduce CO2 emissions and slow the rate of global warming.)
- It’s Not Trivial: What electrical safety tips are discussed in this game? (Even low-voltage appliances can cause dangerous electric shock; stay away from pad-mounted transformers; use only battery-powered radios near a tub or pool; clean appliances only when they are unplugged, and keep them away from water.) What are some of the science concepts? (Electricity is carried by electrons; the flow of electrons from atom to atom through a conductor is an electric current; the nature of ground faults and circuits.) Name anenergy-saving tip. (Turn off your computer when not using it.) What are somelightning safety tips? (Don’t open an umbrella when there’s lightning. If you cannot get into a house or other building during a lightning storm, stay inside a hardtop car with the windows closed.)
Ask an Expert
Ask students to brainstorm their own questions about electrical safety, energy efficiency, or energy science, and submit questions on this page. Encourage them to revisit the site, as questions in this section are updated periodically.
Safety and Energy Inspections
Review the checklists with students in class, and then assign completion of these for homework. Ask students to report back for an in-class graphing activity. On the white board, chart which practices most commonly appear under “Needs Fixing” (for Safety) or “Not Yet” (for Energy Efficiency). Have students postulate why these practices might be the ones least commonly engaged in, and then discuss what they can do about it.
K-3 Activity Pages
Print these activity pages for younger students. The Energy Tip Cards make a great homework project and help students share conservation tips with their families.