This hands-on measuring activity will encourage students to think about conserving energy and other natural resources.
Skills supporting learning standards: participating in group discussions, number writing, addition/subtraction, solving word problems
- Medicine dropper
- Small cup
- Large bowl
- Measuring cup
- Empty one-gallon container
- Copies of the “Energy Puzzler” student activity sheet
Through a classroom demonstration and activity, students will understand the importance of conserving energy and other natural resources.
- Prepare a demonstration to help students understand how wasting even small amounts of energy and natural resources adds up to a lot of waste over time.
- Use a medicine dropper to drip 10 droplets of water into a small cup over one minute. Ask students if that seems like a lot of water or a little.
- Next, measure 3 liters of water into a large bowl. Explain that 10 drips per minute does not seem like much, but that it adds up to 3 liters of water wasted every day.
- Finally, show students a container that holds a gallon of liquid, such as a milk jug. (Alternatively, measure 1 gallon [16 cups] of water into a large bowl.) Explain that a single faucet dripping 10 times per minute wastes 347 gallons of water every year!
- Also explain that energy is needed to heat water. So if hot water is dripping, additional energy is wasted.
- To further explore how wasted water drops add up, use the U.S. Geological Survey’s drip calculator with your students: water.usgs.gov/edu/activity-drip.html.
- Distribute the “Energy Puzzler” student activity sheet. Ask students to work alone or in pairs to solve the math problems and fill in the word puzzler with the corresponding letters.
Answers: 1. 4; 2. 1; 3. 2; 4. 3. Riddle solution: GREEN