Save the Penguins! (view)

Units included with this Open Author resource:

Teacher prep
Climate, Climate Change, Conduction, Convection, Energy, Engineering, Global Warming, Heat, Heat Transfer, Radiation, Stem


In Save the Penguins, the broad context is global climate change. Students learn that the energy we use to heat and cool our houses comes from power plants, most of which use fossil fuels to convert chemical energy to electrical energy. The burning of fossil fuels has been linked to increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which in turn has been linked to increases in global temperature. This change in temperature has widespread effects upon life on Earth. Penguins live in the southern hemisphere, primarily on the icy continent of Antarctica. As the Earth warms and ice melts, penguins lose habitat. Therefore, students see that better-designed houses that use less energy for heating and cooling can have an effect on penguins. Energy efficient houses that minimize unnecessary heat transfer will draw less electricity from the fossil fuel burning power plants and not contribute as much to global climate change.