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Every Project ReCharge lesson follows the 5E Learning Model using hands-on activities to help students build their own understanding from life experiences, collaboration, critical thinking, problem-solving, and engineering design. Students use what they learn to construct a proposal to decrease energy use at home, their school, or the community – some of which will be funded by Envirolution and implemented in the community. 21st Century and SEL standards are woven through each lesson, and the curriculum supports Next Generation Science Standards for both Middle School and High School levels. This curriculum is designed to be supplemental to fit the needs of the teacher. Each curriculum is updated annually by licensed teachers and professionals, therefore teachers and administrators know they are using a curriculum that meets the latest education requirements.

21st Century and Social Emotional Learning Standards

21st Century Competencies

  1. Collaboration → Students are collaborating when they work in pairs or groups to discuss an is-sue, solve a problem, and/or create a product.
  2. Knowledge Construction → Students are constructing knowledge when they apply critical thinking to go beyond knowledge reproduction by  generating ideas and  understandings that are new to them.
  3. Real-World Problem Solving and Innovation → Students use problem solving when they define and develop solutions to problems that are new to them, or complete a task they have not been instructed how to do, or design a complex  product that meets a set of requirements.
  4. Use of Technology for Learning → Students are using technology  for learning when they directly complete all or part of an activity using technology, and control the technology  themselves.
  5. Self Regulation → Students are using self-regulation when they engage in long-term activities in which they are required to plan the process of their work and improve it over multiple iterations.
  6. Skilled Communication → Students use extended communi-cation when they repre-sent a set of connected ideas, not a single, sim-ple thought; students use multimodal com-munication when they use multiple modes or tools to communicate a coherent message.

Social Emotional Learning Connections

  1. Self-Awareness → Identify one’s emotions, maintain an accurate and positive self-concept, recognize individual strengths, experience a sense of self-efficacy 
  2. Self-Management → Regulate emotions, manage stress, monitor and achieve behaviors related to school and life success 
  3. Social Awareness → Exhibit empathy, appreciate diversity, understand social and ethical norms for behavior, recognize family, school, and community supports 
  4. Relationship Skills → Build and maintain relationships with diverse groups & individuals, communicate clearly to express needs and resolve conflict 

Energy and Electricity 

This unit is designed to give all students the necessary background knowledge on electricity that they will need in coming Project ReCharge™ units. Students will explore simple circuits, series and parallel configurations, conductors and insulators, and energy changes. This unit also introduces students to our Energy Bike that can power a light board and other various appliances. These activities can be used to fill in existing gaps or to deepen prior knowledge, depending on the needs of your students.

Lessons

  1. Energy and Electricity: Simple Circuits →  students explore the concept of open and closed circuits by making simple circuits with given materials. 
  2. Energy and Electricity: Series & Parallel Circuits → students compare and contrast series and parallel circuits, challenging students to make slightly more complicated circuits that can light multiple bulbs to the same brightness while using only one D-cell. 
  3. Energy and Electricity: Conductivity → students investigate the properties of conductors and insulators by testing different classroom objects. In the end, students will determine the characteristics of electric conductors and electric insulators 
  4. Energy and Electricity: Energy Transformations and E-Bike →  students investigate different objects to understand the law of conservation of energy, followed by several hands-on activities involving a bicycle generator to illustrate that  motion can generate electricity. 

Standards

4-PS3-2. Make observations to provide evidence that energy can be transferred from place to place by sound, light, heat, and electric currents.

4-PS3-4. Apply scientific ideas to design, test, and refine a device that converts energy from one form to another

5-PS1-3– Make observations and measurements to identify materials on their properties.

MS-PS3-5. Construct, use, and present arguments to support the claim that when the kinetic energy of an object changes, energy is transferred to or from the object.

HS-PS3-3. Design, build, and refine a device that works within given constraints to convert one form of energy into another form of energy.

Resources and Energy 

This unit is designed to give all students the necessary background knowledge on electrical generation, global warming, and renewable resources. This unit builds on Energy and Electricity. Students will investigate the importance of electricity, how electricity is generated and distributed to our homes, and the effects of electricity generated from fossil fuels on our environment and community. Lasty, students will consider electrical generation from renewable resources, specifically solar and wind energy. 

Lessons

  1. Energy Basics: Electrical Generation → this lesson lays the groundwork for how electricity is generated. Students complete a series of stations to investigate the relationship between electricity and magnetism. Lastly, students do a card sort to look at the effectiveness of alternative sources of energy.
  2. Energy Basics: Climate Change Investigation → students investigate the effects of greenhouse gases and climate change by completing a reverse Escape Room. Students solve puzzles to determine who should be held responsible for this real-world problem.
  3. Energy Basics: Wind Power → students continue exploring how renewable sources can be used to generate electricity, this time through wind power. 

  1. Energy Basics: Solar Power → students explore how electricity can be generated from sunlight – a process that differs from what they are familiar with up to this point, using electromagnetic induction.

Standards

MS-PS2-3. Ask questions about data to determine the factors that affect the strength of electric and magnetic forces. 

MS-PS2-5. Conduct an investigation and evaluate the experimental design to provide evidence that fields exist between objects exerting forces on each other even though the objects are not in contact.

MS-ESS3-3. Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.

MS-ETS1-1. Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.

HS-PS2-5. Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence that an electric current can produce a magnetic field and that a changing magnetic field can produce an electric current.

HS-PS3-3. Design, build, and refine a device that works within given constraints to convert one form of energy into another form of energy.

HS-ETS1-3. Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.

Thermal Systems

Thermal Systems starts by examining the physical properties of different types of insulation materials (Elementary) and the heat transfer properties (Secondary). Students apply this knowledge to a closed system to test for energy efficiency. Lastly, students investigate passive cooling and heating strategies to reduce energy cost and environmental impact. 

Lessons

  1. Thermal Systems: Insulation Properties (5th Grade)→ students explore the properties of insulation and then apply their knowledge to create a model that reduces heat loss. 
  2. Thermal Systems: Building Envelope (Secondary)→ students explore insulation with the goal of determining how insulation can help reduce energy consumption. 
  3. Thermal Systems: Passive Cooling → students explore how insulation can be used to mitigate the impact of solar energy on a home in order to keep a home cool. Students will determine how to cool a home without the use of an air conditioner.
  4. Thermal Systems: Passive Heating → students begin to explore the thermal system of heating. Through the use of solar power students will discover how to keep buildings warm without consuming energy. Once students understand insulation more in depth, they can begin to make connections between how to heat or cool a home passively, and keep it warm or cool using different insulation methods. 

Standards

5-PS1-3. Make observations and measurements to identify materials based on their properties. 

5-ESS3-1. Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.

3-5-ETS1-2. Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

MS-PS3-3. Apply scientific principles to design, construct, and test a device that either minimizes or maximizes thermal energy transfer.

MS-ETS1-2. Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem. 

HS-PS3-4. Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence that the transfer of thermal energy when two components of different temperatures are combined within a closed system results in a more uniform energy distribution among the components in the system (second law of thermodynamics).

HS-ESS3-4. Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.

HS-ETS1-3. Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.

Electrical Systems 

This unit is made up of two lessons that develop an understanding of energy use and storage in homes. Students will investigate the electrical energy usage of lighting systems by comparing different light bulb options. Lasty, students will collect data on different common appliances to determine ways to be more sustainable and consider energy efficiency upgrades.

Lessons

  1. Electrical Systems: Lighting →  students explore the differences in cost and energy consumption based on the type of light bulb.  
  2. Electrical Systems: Appliances → students explore the impact of different appliances on the environment, as well as the cost required to run them.

Standards

5-ESS3-1. Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.

3-5-ETS1-2. Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

MS-ESS3-3 Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.*

MS-ETS1-3. Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.

HS-ESS3-4  Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.*

HS-ETS1-3 Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.

Sustainability Detectives 

This unit introduces the students to tools to analyze the home and school energy use and how data collected can be used to identify potential energy saving projects at their school. Students should have covered the content found in previous units. 

Lessons

  • Sustainability Detectives: Analyzing Home Energy Bills →  introduces students into information that can be found on their own residential energy bills and analyzes sample bills to find trends and interesting conclusions. 
  • Sustainability Detectives: Exploring Data →  students will begin to analyze data and evaluate its validity by reviewing the concept of outliers.  Students will learn to identify outliers and decide when they are important and when they should be disregarded.
  • Sustainability Detectives: School Energy Trends →  introduces students to school energy bills and the concept of demand charges.  Students will analyze their own schools energy bills to identify seasonal trends and the impact demand charges have on the school energy bill. Students also compare school data to look for ways to improve energy efficiency. Two different lesson plans are available, one lesson utilizes a PowerED McKinstry Dashboard, while the second lesson is designed for areas that do not have access to an energy dashboard. 
  • Sustainability Detectives: Energy Auditors →  introduces the students to the energy audit process by having student groups collect data at their school on lighting, HVAC systems and occupant engagement or human behavior observations.  Data collected during this lesson will be used in Student Sustainability Proposals.

Standards

5-ESS3-1. Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.

3-5-ETS1-2. Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

MS-ESS3-3 Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.*

MS-ETS1-4. Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved. 

HS-ESS3-4. Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.*

HS-ETS1-3. Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability,  and aesthetics as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.

Sustainability Year-End Projects 

Students will team up to come up with energy and sustainability conservation measure recommendations for saving energy and money which they will present to school administrators.

Lessons

  1. Public Service Announcement (PSA) → Students create a PSA around a sustainability topic of their choosing to persuade their peers or community to take action. 
  2. Green School or Energy Star Certification → Students collect and analyze data to be submitted to the appropriate company for certification. 
  3. Home Sustainability Proposals →  Students use a simplified grant proposal format and student collected data to create a Sustainability Proposal. This proposal can be submitted for potential funding and implementation at the Year-End-Event. 
  4. School or Business Sustainability Proposals→ Students collect real-world data from their school or selected business to assess sustainability issues in the building. Students use a grant proposal format to provide recommendations for improvement. This proposal can be submitted for potential funding and implementation at the Year-End-Event. 
  5. Civic Engagement → students choose a sustainability topic that they are passionate about and are empowered to make a change in their community through action or legislation. 

Standards

5-ESS3-1. Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.

3-5-ETS1-2. Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

MS-ESS3-3 Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.*

MS-ETS1-1. Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success

HS-ESS3-4. Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.*

HS-ETS1-3. Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability,  and aesthetics as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.

 

2020 Project ReCharge Curriculum Map

2020 Project ReCharge Table of Contents

Project ReCharge has partnered with McKinstry to use their live Facility Performance Management Dashboard! 

For more information click here: McKinstry Dashboard