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This renewable energy curriculum, designed for K-12 teachers to use in their classrooms, includes 20 activities correlated​ to Wisconsin's Model Academic Standards, Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards. Below are links to select lessons from the guide. Printed copies of the guide are only available to educators who take the KEEP NRES 632 Doable Renewables: Renewable Energy Education in the Classroom course or Energize Your Curriculum with Renewable Energy workshop which offers renewable energy hands-on activities, class discussions, and classroom-based applications.  

Guide Introduction
Cross-reference chart - Activities by Grade Level
Cross-reference chart - Activities by Subject Area
Cross-reference chart - Activities by Assessment Strategies
Cross-reference chart - Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards
Cross-reference chart - Wisconsin Model Academic Social Studies Standards
Maps with Information about Renewable Energy - wind, solar, biomass, geothermal


Catch That Wind (Grades 5-8 / 9-12)
Students sequence career titles of those responsible for siting, installing, and maintaining a wind farm.
PicoTurbine Windmill Kit 
Careers in Wind Energy 
Wisconsin 80-Meter Wind Map and Wind Resource Potential 
U.S. Wind Resource Map 
Corn in Your Car (Grades 9-12 / 5-8) 
Through mapping and research, students measure the availability of ethanol-blended fuels in their community, and the environmental benefits of using these fuels.
Background about Biomass from KEEP.  After reading the background, students can complete the Biomass Chart. Discuss Wisconsin sources of biomass and whether those sources exist in our local vicinity. Biomass Chart Key
Grassoline Poster 
Dry Mill Ethanol Process graphic (scroll down page)
Additional activities can be found at Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center 
Schematic of a Biochemical Cellulosic Ethanol Production Process (scroll down page)
Energy to Produce Ethanol vs. Gasoline (scroll down page)
Bioethanol Production chart (scroll down page) 
Biomass Energy Cycle (Inputs of energy) (scroll down page) 
Biofuels 101
Corn to Ethanol 
Ethanol and Biofuels 
Don't Waste Waste (Grades 5-8 / K-4)
Students “harvest” celery to demonstrate waste accumulation from timber practices and brainstorm uses for the waste products.
Online Dichotomous Tree Identification Key - Developed by the Wisconsin K-12 Forestry Education Program (LEAF) 
Wisconsin Energy Statistics includes Wisconsin Renewable Energy Use by Type of Fuel which includes Wood and other Biomass
Fuel Cell Futures  (Grades 5-8 / 9-12)
Through scenario writing, students envision future uses and sources of energy.
Fuel Cells -
How Fuel Cells Work
Fuel Cell Kits:
Fuel Cell Store
Geothermal Gazette (Grades 5-8 / 9-12) 
Students will act as reporters assembling a newspaper on geothermal energy.
Facts about Geothermal Energy  
Geothermal Education Office (GEO) - Geothermal Slideshow 
Let the Sun Shine In (Grades 9-12) - This activity is distributed at our in-person workshops.
Students calculate how much solar energy contributes to their home or school heating.
Solar Windows (example of completed tables using 4' X 4' windows; one window at each of the eight directions). Note: Your numbers will get very large if you have larger windows and many windows on each side of your house or room. Data Table 1  |  Data Table 2 

Current Heating Fuel Prices from the Wisconsin State Energy Office. This information will help in estimating the heat equivalent cost for each of the heating fuels compared to that of the sun. Or, use the information below.
Heating Fuel
Residential Cost
14.85 cents per KWh ($0.1485/KWh)
Natural Gas
84.1 cents per therm ($0.841/therm); 1 therm=100 cubic feet
Fuel Oil
Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG or Propane)
Updated 12/2018. Energy prices vary much throughout the year depending on supply and demand, outdoor temperatures, current events, etc.
Windows, Doors, and Skylight Information - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy 
Choices Regarding Skylights, Daylighting, and Passive Solar Designs - Wisconsin Solar Design
Over the Years (Grades 5-8 / 9-12)
Students construct a timeline to interpret solar energy use throughout history.
Contact KEEP for the Source of Symbolism and Inspiration page.
Historical Facts about Geothermal, Wind, Biomass, and Hydropower:
Energy Time Machine
Environmental History Timeline
The video "Harness the Wind," produced by the National Film Board of Canada, uses animation to describe historic, current and future uses of the wind.
Placement Matters (Grades 9-12 / 5-8) - This activity is distributed at our in-person workshops.
Through a series of experiments, students investigate how placement and orientation of a solar cell affects electricity production.
To learn more about solar placement, visit the solar page of the Renewable Energy Online Course, designed by KEEP. You will find images and information for teaching about the placement of photovoltaic systems. 
A Piece of the Pie (Grades 9-12 / 5-8)
Students explore graphing techniques used in Wisconsin Energy Statistics and learn how to construct pie graphs.
Renewable Candy Resources (Grades K-4 / 5-8)
Students play a competitive game to simulate consumption of energy resources and explore how decreasing nonrenewable energy consumption, through the use of renewable energy, can help to sustain future energy supplies.
Siting for Solar (Grades 5-8) - This activity is distributed at our in-person workshops.
Using a simple method for identifying obstructions around a site, students learn to identify potential issues for solar gain at a particular location.
Example sketch of Activity Sheet B indicating possible shading of solar panels. 

​Professional Solar Pathfindercentered image
Roof Mount PVcentered image
Shingles PV​
​Solar Tracker PV
Solar Thermal Wall Mount​

Energy Efficiency at Home 
Ultimate Guide to Solar Panels
Residential Solar Panels 
Solar Explorations (Grades K-4 / 5-8)
Students will learn how and why the sun heats different items.
Facts about Solar Electricity 
Facts about Solar Heating 
Solar Soup Cans Experiment Data Sheet 
Solar Transmissions (Grades 5-8 / 9-12)
By learning about transmissions, students begin to explore the many aspects of building a solar car.
Junior Solar Sprint 
Junior Solar Sprint Classroom Investigations 
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Solar
Sundance Solar - kits for purchase 
Sustainable Communities (Grades 9-12 / 5-8)
Students identify current energy use practices and incorporate renewable energy use into community planning.
Community Energy Use Survey Instrument  |  Word   |  PDF 
Local Energy Efficiency Policy Calculator 
Energy Analysis Models and Tools 
What Renewable Energy Does for Me (Grades K-4 / 5-8)
Students analyze how the sun, wind, and water contribute to their daily lives.
Where the Wind Blows (Grades 5-8) - This activity is distributed at our in-person workshops.
Students use their senses and observational skills to assess wind speed.
Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Wind Program 
Wisconsin 80-Meter Wind Map and Wind Resource Potential 
U.S. Wind Resource Map 
Wind Siting Rules 
The Midwest Renewable Energy Association - site assessment services for those interested in learning if their property is a good site for a wind turbine 
Vaavud Wind MeterApp to Measure Wind Speed Using Your Smart Phone (for iPhones)
Small Wind Electric Systems: A Wisconsin Consumer's Guide
Working Water (Grades 5-8) - This activity is distributed at our in-person workshops.
By inventing devices that demonstrate how moving water can accomplish work, students explore the use of hydropower as an energy resource.
Map of Electric Utility Hydroelectric Sites in Wisconsin (scroll to bottom) 
World Energy Council - Hydropower 
USGS Hydroelectric Power Use 
Top 5 Largest Producers of Hydroelectricity 
Water Cycle Animations:
How Hydroelectric Power Works 
Energy 101: Hydroelectric Power 
How a Hydro Generator Works 
Additional Lesson Plan Resources:
Pascal's Law - Students investigate Pascal's Law through a hands-on activity dealing with water stored in a plastic soda bottle. They make observations and take data as the water spurts different distances from holes punched at differing heights.
Shapes of Dams - The lesson walks students through the four types of dam structures: arch, embankment, gravity, and buttress. Students are challenged to make a decision whether to take down, repair, or simply leave the dam alone. They work in the virtual SHAPES LAB to learn how forces affect the different shapes of the dam.
Mini-Water Turbine - Students create a mini water turbine as shown on this video.

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