Renewable energy offers learning opportunities for students of all ages. From the basics of what "renewable energy" means, all the way up to learning the intricacies of how the technologies work. Below we have listed some of our favorite interactive activities, as well as some great resources to find even more information.
- Make an easy solar oven at home for s'mores and cookies! Instructions available online via NASA Climate Kids or you can download the PDF.
- Start small by making a pinwheel and talk about how air can make things turn! Instructions available online via STEM-works or you can download the PDF.
- Step things up a bit and use household items to make a wind turbine and anemometer to measure wind speed! (Note: some of the wind turbines suggested require specialty items) For instructions, you can download the PDF.
- Play simple, interactive, and fun online games from PBS kids about renewable energy.
- For a more formal presentation, download this slide deck that MREA uses in classrooms to teach younger students about energy and renewable energy basics. Download PDF of Presentation or Version B with slide notes
Want to learn more or talk through some questions? Reach out to MREA!
- KidWind.org – Offers information and curriculum on wind and solar. Also hosts national competitions! Check out there hands-on "Class Activities" section
- NASA "Climate Kids" section on Energy
- "Energy KIDS" – U.S. Energy Information Administration – a lot of great information and graphics on energy and renewable energy basics
- National Renewable Energy Laboratory – Grades 6-8 renewable energy curriculum. This is presented as a suggested formal curriculum, but can be adapted for any teaching environment. Some of the hands-on activities require some specialty materials, but many of them you can build using items from around the house (cardboard, coloring paper, coathangers, etc.) For example, check out pages 50-53 for easy construction of small wind turbines and an anemometer (wind speed device)!