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Energy Agents in Action

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Keywords: energy, video, survey, school, conservation, leadership, student, cross curriculum
Subject(s): Video, Technology, Life Science, Writing, Earth Science, Information Skills, Photography, English/Language Arts, Spelling, Service Learning, Science, Drama, Math, Physics
Grades K through 5
School: Grace Miller Elementary School, La Verne, CA
Planned By: Matthew Miller
Original Author: Matthew Miller, San Dimas
To begin Energy Agents in Action, the students will be instructed in the background knowledge they need. In order to begin Energy Agents in Action, students will need to be able to explain how energy is formed, how it moves, how to create circuits, how to conserve energy, and be able to identify environmentally friendly alternative fuels.

Stage One (3 weeks) - Once students have learned about energy, in teams, they will make an instructional video about energy. This short video will be produced using the purchased digital camera and computer with video editing software. The video will include basic information about energy and will be used to educate the students in the other grade levels. The video can be broadcast using the schools closed circuit television system. Students will be assigned various roles in the production of the video. Student jobs will include researchers, script writers, costume and props designers, producers, camera operators, and film editors. Parent support will be needed and used during this stage of the project.

Concurrently to making the instructional video in stage one, some students will be producing survey questions. The questions will be deigned to get a sense of how energy is used, wasted, and conserved at the school and at the homes of the students. Students, working in teams, will develop a short survey, five to ten questions. The teams of students will tailor the survey to the reading and ability level of each grade level while maintaining uniformity and assessing the same information.

Stage Two(2 weeks)- After the grade levels have viewed the instructional video about energy, each teacher will sign up for a time for each class to complete a survey using the Electronic Student Response Systems. The classes will be asked to come to the 4th grade rooms and will be taught how to use the Promethean ActivExpressions, or Electronic Student Response System. The ActivExpressions are a valuable assessing tool, allowing the students to enter standard multiple choice answers, to ordering and comparing answers to open-ended free response answers. The fourth graders will guide the younger grades and assist with spelling and in the use of the ActivExpressions.

After each class has completed the survey, the 4th grade students will use the data to determine energy practices of the school and homes of the students. The students will put the data into six categories: Energy uses at school and home, energy wasting at school and home, and energy conservation at school and home.

Stage 3 (3 weeks) - The final stage of this project will be a concluding video describing the information and data found. The video will also offer suggestions for conserving energy in the school and at home. Other suggestions that will be made will be ideas and implementation suggestions for adding alternative fuel energies in the school, homes, and at the district and city level. The video will be broadcast to the classrooms at Grace Miller and copies will be mailed to the neighboring schools in hope to spark energy conservation practices in each of the schools in our district. We will also attempt to speak and show our video at a future Bonita Unified School District board meeting and a La Verne City Council board meeting.
Materials: Video Cameras, Hi-Def Camcorder, Digital Cameras, Point and Shoot, Digital SLR, Projectors, Portable, Projector Screens, Microphones, Video Tools, Animation, CDs and DVDs, Hard Drives, Printers, Flash/USB Drives, Tripods, Memory Cards, Ports and Hubs, LCD Monitors, English/Language Arts, Writing, Math, Elementary, Science, Social Studies, Books, Games, Office Suite, Word Processor, Spreadsheet, Podcasting, Inspiration, Authoring and Publishing, Web Page, Slideshow, Clip Art, Music, Pro Composition, Internet Services, Prof. Dev. Workshops, Integrating Technology, Autism, Cause and Effect, Early Learning, Speech and Language