Science Safari: Energy Resources

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About this lesson from MSU 4-H Extension

Recommended Age Groups: Later Elementary, Middle School

Guiding Question:

How does science impact energy resources and industries?







  1. Telephone book Yellow or Business Pages
  2. Notepads, pencil or pen
  3. Calendar for scheduling field trips or visits
  4. Posterboard or scrapbook
  5. Markers, tape, glue, scissors
  6. Optional: camera and film, video camera
  7. Thank-you cards or stationery, stamps
  8. Optional: overhead projection transparencies or PowerPoint and computer for presentations
  9. Field-trip permission forms and arrangements

Room Preparation

Students need access to telephone book and telephone to identify and contact community energy resources. Students need space to put together their presentation, scrapbooks, or posters.

Safety Precautions

Some field trip sites will require more supervision than others.

Procedures and Activity


  1. Ask, "How does science impact energy resources we use every day?"

  2. Go over kinds of energy and applications we see at home and in the community. Ideas include electric and nuclear power plants, natural gas plants and service stations, gas stations, furnaces and air conditioners at home, and natural or propane gas appliances and dealers.

  3. Today, plan an "energy safari" into our community to learn about the roles science and technology have in power industry and our daily lives.


  1. Have students work in pairs or small groups.
  2. Have students pick a topic they want to learn more about that is related to energy and power companies, tools, and careers.
  3. Pairs or groups think about and write down questions they want to get answers for related to their topic.
  4. Students think about whom they know that could provide them information. Also, use telephone book and Yellow Pages to identify community resources. Role play how to call resource, introduce self and project, and arrange for visit.
  5. Given appropriate scheduling and transportation information, students arrange for and make visits. Be sure students were prepared with questions to ask, cameras for photos, etc.
  6. Students organize information, photos, illustrations, video, or other graphics into a presentation. May use a poster, scrapbook, projection or computer "slides."
  7. Students make oral presentations.
  8. Be sure students write and mail thank-you notes to people they interviewed or visited.

Closing - Original Question

Review and discuss, "How does science impact energy resources and industries?" after all presentations have been made.


You may evaluate students' knowledge of how science impacts energy and power while they make their presentations. You may ask students to pick someone else's presentation and prepare a summary of the impact of science and technology.

Extension Ideas

  1. Examine places the class visited and people interviewed. Look for similar scientific methods and technologies used across fields. Share how methods and technologies can often be adapted for different uses.

  2. Have students research a particular technology or scientific method. Find out about the inventor, scientist, or entrepreneur. Examine the concept of "technology transfer" or how technology can be adapted and modified for different purposes and applications.

  3. Encourage students to be inventors by designing their own appliance or energy technology. Students should be as "high-tech" and "futuristic" as they can. They may illustrate or develop a prototype model.

Careers Related to the Lesson Topic

Prerequisite Vocabulary

Resources that produces power.
An expedition or journey.
The state of knowing or having knowledge; a system or method to understand something.
Scientific method and tools to accomplish a task.

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Last revised 23 Jan 05