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Your Source of Energy

In the first part of this activity students will explore the role the sun plays in providing much of the Earth’s energy through photosynthesis. Students will make connections between energy from the sun and the energy in the food they eat. They will also make connections between the energy from the sun and other forms of energy they use in their daily lives. The second part of the activity asks students to locate the commercial electric generators in their state. Students will explore an Energy Information Administration data set to better understand electricity generation in the state. These lessons have been adapted from Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Energy for Missouri: Today and Tomorrow.
Using this lesson in your classroom

Your Source of Energy can be used in the classroom as an introduction to the concept of energy, photosynthesis and the carbon cycle.

  • Where does the Earth’s energy come from?
  • What form of energy do the students use most in their home?
  • What is the source of the electricity used in their homes?
  • How and why does electricity use change over time?

As an advanced lesson, this lesson can be used as review or as an intro to the CT Energy Education Lessons:

  • Writing Across the Disciplines (Clean Energy in CT)
  • Siting a Power Plant

As a demonstration activity: Gaining energy by reversing chemical reactions

Materials Included:

  • Electricity Generation in Connecticut—a reading about Connecticut Energy Infrastructure, including maps and electric transmission lines
  • Connecticut Electric Generators data set
  • Connecticut Electricity Overview ( a more in-depth view of the issues)
  • Extensions include:

Energy Data Analysis Exercises

Energy Data Analysis Database Answer Guide for Energy Data

Effects of Temperature on Energy Production

Weather and Electric Use Worksheet

Grade Level:
  • 9.3 D8, D9
  • 9.5 D14
  • 9.7 D19, D20: 9.9 D25, D26
  • D INQ 1,2,7,9,10
Student Materials
Connecticut's Electric Generators Data Set (76.8 KB)
Energy Data Analysis Exercise (193.5 KB)
Energy Data Analysis Database (64.3 KB)
Weather and Electric Use (314.8 KB)
Teacher Materials
Energy Data Analysis Answer Guide (163.1 KB)