Mapping the Energy Use of My Classroom

3.6 based on 44 ratings

Updated on Nov 07, 2012


Environmental Science



Difficulty of Project

Easy to Medium

Cost (Approximate Cost of completing the project)

Less than $10

Safety Issues


Material Availability


Approximate Time Required to Complete the Project

Less than four hours.

  • To enhance the understanding and awareness of energy use
  • To explore the concept of energy efficient

  • Graph paper
  • Pencil
  • Colored pencils, crayons, or markers

Each day we are surrounded with and use many fantastic technologies. While not always obvious, these technologies require energy to operate. This energy use can add up in terms of monthly power bills as well as the natural resources required to produce that power off site. Numerous energy efficient tools exist today to help us conserve resources and reduce our monthly payments. This experiments helps you identify what is using energy in our classroom and encourages you to brainstorm strategies for your school to reduce its consumption and monthly fees.

Research Questions
  1. What is energy? Does your classroom use much energy during the day?
  2. What items need energy or power in your classroom?
  3. After finishing your energy drawing, or energy audit, did you find more or less items than you expected?
  4. Do you notice any energy efficient devices or features in your classroom?
  5. If your school wanted to save money on their monthly electricity bills, what could they do?
Research Terms
  • Energy/power
  • Energy audit
  • Conservation
  • CFL lightbulbs
  • Motion-sensors
  • Energy efficient
  • EnergySTAR
  • Natural resource

  1. Select a classroom in your school to use for this experiment.
  2. Using the graph paper and pencil, draw the walls of your classroom. Mark where any doors or windows are located.
  3. Pick one wall to start. Walk back and forth along that wall to identify anywhere an electrical outlet is located. Mark these on your drawing with color #1.
  4. Select a second color to mark anywhere there is a power cord plugged into the wall.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 on all remaining walls until you have made a circle around your classroom and are back to where you began. Use color #1 and color #2 to show outlets and power cords on all walls for consistency.
  6. Select a third color pencil, crayon, or marker. Walk around the room and identify any objects that need energy but are not plugged in to a wall. They may be plugged in to a floor, battery operated, or not plugged in at the moment. Mark these on your drawing.
  7. Either turn your sheet of graph paper over or select a new sheet. Draw the walls of your classroom but this time label the drawing ‘Ceiling’.
  8. Examine the entire ceiling and identify any objects that require energy to operate (including lights and overhead projectors). Mark these on your graph paper.
  9. Sit back and examine your drawings.

U.S. Department of Energy – Kids Saving Energy
Alliance to Save Energy – Energy Hog Game
Roofus’ Solar and Energy Efficient Home Tour
Energy Kids/Energy Ant
Energy STAR Kids

Alexa Bach McElrone is an independent consultant based in the San Francisco Bay area. Employed as a sustainability advisor, she works at the nexus of people, profit, and our planet's natural resources to build stronger communities and empower the next generation.

How likely are you to recommend to your friends and colleagues?

Not at all likely
Extremely likely