Energy may be the most important environmental issue of our time. If you think about nearly any other environmental issue — air or water quality, land use, transportation, global climate change, or solid waste management, to name some examples — you will find that it is related to the issue of energy.
Energy affects our lives every day. It keeps us warm in the winter and cool in the summer, it allows us to easily travel from place to place, and keeps our food fresh and safe to eat. Energy is not just an environmental issue; it is a quality of life issue too.
Energy management challenges bring together the fields of economics, environmental science, sociology, political science, health, and engineering. A more informed citizenry has the potential to come up with better solutions to our energy problems and knows the importance of reducing the amount of energy used in the first place. The role of educators is fundamental to this process. The students in your classroom will be the policy makers, scientists, and voters of tomorrow. It is critical to help students realize that they can make decisions and take responsible action, which in turn can have positive effects on their community.
This investigation will help students become more aware of the energy they use every day. They will see the connections among the energy they use, natural resources, and pollution. The results of the investigation will help students develop action plans for reducing energy use at their school.