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Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

Watt Does It Cost To Use It?

Lesson Description:
Students learn how electrical usage is counted and priced. They measure and evaluate energy use and cost of representative household and school electrical items.
Lesson Type:
  • Other

Sustainability Topic:
  • Energy

Time Needed:
Three class periods
Standards Addressed:
National standards: 5-8
  • INT-A: 1 .d. Develop descriptions, explanations, predictions, and models using evidence.
  • INT-B: 3.a. Energy is a property of many substances and is associated with heat, light, electricity, mechanical motion, sound, nuclei, and the nature of a chemical.
  • INT-F: 4.c. Students can use a systematic approach to thinking critically about risks and benefits.

National Standards: 9-12
  • SEC-C: 4.c. Humans modify ecosystems as a result of population growth, technology, and consumption. Human destruction of habitats through harvesting, pollution, atmospheric changes, and other factors is threatening global stability, and if not addressed, ecosystems will be irreversibly affected.
  • SEC -F: 6.b. Understanding basic concepts and principles of science and technology should precede active debate about the economics, policies, politics, and ethics of various science and technology related challenges. However, understanding science alone will not resolve local, national, and global challenges.

Materials Needed:
  • handout included
  • medium apple or 100 g mass
  • meter stick
  • calculator
  • representative electrical appliances
  • copies of a residential electric bill
  • copied blank student research table (optional)
  • watt meter (optional)

School or Group:
Alliance to Save Energy
Contact Email:

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