Teach the Earth > Energy > Teaching Activities > Energy Hog Advertising Campaign

Energy Hog Advertising Campaign

Robert Milne
Sheridan College
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This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Reviewed Teaching Collection

This activity has received positive reviews in a peer review process involving five review categories. The five categories included in the process are

  • Scientific Accuracy
  • Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
  • Pedagogic Effectiveness
  • Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
  • Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page

For more information about the peer review process itself, please see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.

This page first made public: May 4, 2009


Students are asked to design an alternative to the Energy Hog Ads developed by the Depatment of Energy. This advertising campaign was launched in 2004 to encourage children and their parents to engage in energy efficient behavior.

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Second semester general chemistry course

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

  • Ability to navigate the web
  • Familiarity with energy units
  • Ability to interpret thermodynamic data
  • Familiarity with combustion processes
  • Familiarity with nuclear energy

How the activity is situated in the course

The activity is a stand-alone project though its due date corresponds with completing units on thermodynamics and reduction-oxidation chemistry.


Content/concepts goals for this activity

  • Estimate energy content of fuels
  • Recognize common fuels

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

  • Analysis of data
  • Critical evaluation of competing energy sources/uses

Other skills goals for this activity

  • Searching the web
  • Preparing a poster
  • Working in groups

Description of the activity/assignment

Students are asked to design a poster as an alternative to the Energy Hog ad campaign released by the DOE in 2004. Students are asked to address where our energy comes from how it is used and what might be involved in moving towards non-petroleum resources. They are directed to begin at the DOE and EIA Energy Information Agency websites but may pursue any other resources they deem necessary. This activity provides a real-world context for thermodynamic and electrochemical concepts presented in the second semester of general chemistry.

Determining whether students have met the goals

The poster is evaluated on the presence or absence of three criteria:
  1. How energy is consumed in the United States and where that energy is derived from.
  2. A synopsis of what each group determines is the most likely transition to non-petroleum fuel sources assuming the availability of current technologies and how that would likely impact economic and lifestyle realities in the United States.
  3. Suggestions as to what people might do both in the short-term and long-term in preparation for such eventualities.
Extra Credit is available if as evaluated by department faculty members any one poster is deemed to be unanimously the best poster in meeting the above three criteria.

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