Discovering Energy Indoors - In Your Classroom and School Building

​Thank you for utilizing the hands-on resources lending program through the Wisconsin Center for Environmental Education. We hope the following resources will be useful to you and your students. Let us know how we're doing. Please share your feedback and photographs to

Don't have a kit? Click over to the Lending Program site to learn more about kit contents and to sign up to borrow a kit.

Looking for a Guest Speaker? Check-out options for classroom visits including guided student-led energy investigations.

The resources below support use of the following kits: Energy Audit KitTake-home Energy Audit Kit, and Watts Up? Meter Kit.

​Worksheets Tool Instructions and Videos

Conducting an Energy Audit - at School and at Home

​Complete each worksheet below for each room in the building you wish to audit.

  • Observation Form - Record your energy-savings ideas before using tools to collect data
  • Temperature - You will need the Infrared Thermometer from the Energy Audit Kit
  • Lighting - You will need the Light Meter and Flicker Checker from the Energy Audit Kit
  • Plug Load - You will need the Watt Meter from the Energy Audit Kit
  • Home Audit Investigations - You will need the take-home tool bag from the Take-home Energy Audit Kit

Following the completion of the energy investigations worksheets, compile students' top energy saving recommendations.

Infrared Thermometer (pdf)  |  How to use an infrared thermometer (video)

Light Meter (pdf)  |  How to use a light meter (video)

Watt Meter (pdf)  |  How to use a watt meter (video)

Indoor/Outdoor Thermometer  |  How to use a temperature/humidity sensor (video)

Digital Thermometer (pdf)

Flicker Checker  |  How to use a flicker checker (video)

FLIR ONE camera attachment (pdf)  |  How to use a FLIR ONE infrared attachment (video)

FLIR ix Handheld Infrared Camera (pdf)

School Building Walkthrough Energy Audit Presentation (ppt) - Overview of school energy systems and common ways to save energy in your building.

Activities - Lighting

Let the Sun Shine In (Grades 9-12)
Students calculate how much solar energy contributes Let the to their home or school heating.
   Light and Your Load (Grades 9-12 / 5-8) 
  Students conduct lighting surveys to calculate the cost to light their homes and compare that to the cost of lighting their classroom.

          Recommended Interior Light Levels

   Light Savers (Grades K-4)
  Students create posters that represent various light sources.
          Energy Resource Fact Sheets

Activities - Plug Load

At Watt Rate (Grades 5-8 / 9-12) 
Students complete a survey to determine how much electricity various appliances in their home use.
The Cost of Using Energy (Grades 5-8 / 9-12) 
Students calculate the cost of energy used by various products found in the home and at school.
  Cost of Computers (Grades 5-8)
  Students calculate and compare electrical costs of computers in various modes.
  School Appliance Inventory (Grades K-12)
  Students design an inventory tool to assess the types and quantity of electrical devices found in their school. 
Pulling the Plug on Phantom Loads (Grades K-4)
Students identify classroom appliances that use electricity even when turned off and how using a power strip can save electricity. 

Activities - Other

  Demanding School Electric Bills (Grades 9-12 / 5-8)
  Students examine a school electric bill and interpret a story to identify energy users and analyze peak demand. 

          Understand your electric bill: Focus on Energy | Xcel Energy | WPS | We Energies


   Energy Action Plan (Grades 9-12 / 5-8) 

   Students develop an action plan that addresses an issue related to energy resource management.

          School case studies and sample energy-savings action plans for schools from Wisconsin K-12 teachers


Reading Utility Bills (Grades 5-8 / 9-12) 
Students recognize and interpret electricity and natural gas use patterns for one year by reading a set of utility bills.
Sample Utility Bills
We Energies
We Energies, Solar Cogeneration
WPPI Energy (Columbus Water & Light)
Xcel Energy 
Reading Utility Meters (Grades 5-8 / 9-12) 
Students observe and interpret daily and weekly patterns of energy consumption by reading utility meters.
Sample Digital Meter Readings
Readings A 
Readings B
Readings C
Seeking Inhabitable Schools (Grades K-12)
Through a game of hide and seek, students identify systems in their school that use energy and make the school's physical environment livable. 

So You Want to Heat Your Home? (Grades 5-8 / 9-12) Students calculate the amount of fuel needed to heat an average-sized home using different types of fuel and different heating system efficiencies.
U.S Department of Energy Heat and Cool

Additional Curriculum and Lesson Plans