Investigating Energy Conservation

Energy ecoSTEM Kit Materials Used: Kill-A-Watt EZ Meters, Infrared Thermometers & Ice Cube Trays

ENGAGE - Students Observe This Phenomenon


GATHER Energy Investigations


REASON Investigating Energy Conservation

EXPLORE a Kit-Supported Learning Experience

Students will work in teams of four using KillAWatt EZ meters to test various electronics, appliances, and devices and determine how much energy they draw. Students will search for the worst “Energy Vampires” which use power even when Off or in Standby mode. They may also calculate cost savings of electricity once inefficient devices are removed.


Students should be able to make a claim about one electrical appliance or device that would make the most difference to disconnect from power when not in use, defend the claim by providing evidence (data), and connect the data to the claim with reasoning.


This explainer video on The Surprising Places We Waste Energy will help re-teach the core ideas about energy conservation and inspire students to consider ways they can reduce energy use. Infrared thermometers can be used to locate areas of a building lacking insulation.


Students may watch this video about energy-saving tricks, then test the ideas in terms of validity and accuracy. A lesson from Kristi Edwards Schertz provides a more in-depth energy audit.



After making sense of a core idea by engaging in science or engineering practices through the lens of crosscutting concepts, students revise their original explanations of a phenomenon.


Students expand their energy audit to include efficient lighting, lights off practices, vampire appliances, etc. and develop a school conservation plan; compare before/after bills.