ACM Pedagogic Resources > ACM/FaCE > Projects > Integrating Sustainability into the Undergraduate Curriculum > Activities > Communicating Campus Resource Flows

Communicating Campus Resource Flows

Suzanne Savanick Hansen, Macalester College, adapted from an annotation of the campus assignment by Jim Farrell, St. Olaf College
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Students will research campus energy and resource flows and prepare signage for the campus to be displayed during Earth Week.

Learning Goals

At the end of this assignment, Students will
  • understand basic energy and resource flows across Macalester College's campus
  • communicate to a general audience about the magnitude and importance of energy and resource flows

Context for Use

This activity is part of a new environmental studies course, Campus Ecology. When the students are working on this activity, they will have already taken campus field trips to the steam plant, Ecohouse, and campus dining service. They will have seen a landfill and computer recycling facility. At this time in the term, they will already have some background in urban ecology.

Description and Teaching Materials

Energy and resource flows remains largely invisible to the campus community. For most people, water comes from the tap, lights turn on with a switch, food appears in the dining hall, and trash disappears at night. This assignment makes these invisible energy and resource flows visible.

Students will educate the campus community about the magnitude and importance of one resource flow across the campus. The educational activities will be installed during Earth Week and remain throughout the week.

First students research the source of one of the energy or resource flows across the campus. Next, students design the form of their educational communication and install the project during Earth Week.

Resource Flow Student Handout (Microsoft Word 29kB Jun9 10)

Teaching Notes and Tips

I plan to meet with Facilities staff before the term begins to let them know about this project. All of the projects are intended to be temporary.


Students will review the other students' projects. Campus staff will also be invited to review the projects.

References and Resources