Energy Works Michigan, a nonprofit affiliate of the Ann Arbor Ecology Center, announced Wednesday that school teachers across the country can now access free downloads of new energy lesson plans by visiting

The detailed lesson plans, which will be presented this Friday, Feb. 25 at the Michigan Science Teachers Association annual conference in Grand Rapids, were developed as part of the Michigan Renewable Schools Program. The MRSP, which provides energy efficiency audits and solar and wind power installations, is a five-year, $8 million program partnering with more than 150 schools and districts across Michigan.

Barbara Wilson teaches third grade at Jefferson Elementary School in Redford Township, and she was one of the first teachers to try out the Energy Works lessons in her classroom in fall 2010.

“I loved everything! The lessons were wonderful and engaging,” Wilson said. “The Energy Posters lesson was great — the students loved making posters and sharing their thoughts. We are also going to display the posters around the school.”

Said Laura Holladay, Energy Works Michigan Education Director: “One of our main goals is to educate the next generation about energy efficiency and renewable energy. While our teacher training sessions are currently only available to selected schools, we are excited about the impact that these free lesson plans will have at schools across the state.”

The new lessons include units on energy efficiency, solar photovoltaics, and wind energy. Lessons are targeted at three different grade levels:

* Twelve lesson plans of approximately 45 to 60 minutes each are available for upper elementary;
* Twelve lesson plans are available for middle school,
* Eight lesson plans are available at the high school level. 

The detailed lesson plans, which include PowerPoint notes and other support material, were developed in consultation with classroom teachers and science educators. The lesson plans and supporting materials are aligned with Michigan Grade Level Content Expectations (GLCEs) and High School Content Expectations (HSCEs), and are also available for use in other states.

The Energy Works Michigan lesson plans, designed to be hands-on and engaging for students while providing an easy-to-use resource for teachers,  were developed in order to make renewable energy and energy efficiency an integral part of classroom learning. The lessons were originally provided for teachers at MRSP partner schools in the form of teacher training workshops. Now, all of the lessons are freely available via download for anyone who would like to use them.

Michigan teachers have played an important role in the development of these materials, working with Holladay and Energy Works Michigan Education Associate Courtney Peterson. Dozens of teachers volunteered their time to review and edit drafts of the lessons, and many tested out the activities in their own classrooms in order to get feedback from their students. Over 100 Michigan teachers have been introduced to the completed lesson plans through teacher training workshops with MRSP partner schools, and many teachers report that they plan to use the materials in their classrooms.

For more information or to download the energy lessons, visit

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