Lesson Plan - 100 People

Lesson Plan
"If the world were 100 people, 76 would have electricity."
100 People Under the Sun
What is energy?
Is it the gas that fuels our cars and planes? The electrical current that comes from a wall
socket? Is it the calories transformed from the food we eat? Is it food itself?
Where does energy come from?
Is it buried in the earth? Does it flow through rivers? Through the wind? Does it radiate
from our sun?
How do we use energy?
How do our neighbors use energy? People in other countries? Does everybody use the
same kind of energy to do things? What would we do without energy?
These questions are fundamental to conversations that are taking place at every level of
society and in every part of the world today—conversations involving science and
technology, politics, economics, environmentalism, community, and family issues. The
questions are critical to every person living on the planet and yet the ideas, experiences
and answers are different for everyone.
The 100 People Under the Sun Project
As part of the 100 People: A World Portrait project, the 100 People Foundation is
creating a global profile of the ways that people and communities around the world use
energy. The focus of this profile centers on one of the oldest and newest sources of
energy we know—the sun.
What do we know about the sun?
What does energy from the sun do? How does it affect the planet? Our lives? What is
solar energy? How is solar energy used? Who uses it?
Exploring these questions reveals that while we all share the sun and its energy, our
relationship to the sun may be as unique as the community we live in—and that the
uses of solar energy are surprising, exciting, and incredibly varied: from a micro solar
panel that powers a radio in Africa to a solar farm that powers an entire town in Spain…
all the way to the International Space Station, which runs solely on energy provided by
the sun.
100 People Under the Sun: A Global Energy Project
The 100 People Under the Sun project invites teachers and students to participate in a
lesson plan that:
• develops understanding and awareness of energy—specifically solar energy
• engages teachers and students in an exploration of solar energy in their own
• provides the opportunity to contribute their community’s experience and
perspective on solar energy to an evolving global portrait
Who in my community is using solar energy?
In the culmination of the lesson plan below, students are asked to formally nominate
someone in their community who represents the possibilities of solar energy in our
world. The nomination is accompanied by key work and findings from the lesson plan as
well as a photo, drawing/painting, or graphic representation of the nominee.
Once submitted, the nomination then becomes part of the 100 People Under the Sun
project. This project will capture, in film, photography, music, and text, 100 individuals
embracing the challenges of sustainable energy. The resulting world portrait will not
only build awareness of the many uses of solar energy, it will connect these applications
to real people—their faces, lives, and communities—providing a unique window into the
critical role that our sun plays (and can play) in meeting the world’s energy needs.
100 People Under the Sun: A Global Energy Project
An Integrated Approach
The following 100 People Under the Sun lesson plan spans multiple study areas.
Key teachings from the lesson plan involve integration and application of any or all
of the following:
• Language arts
• Social studies
• Science
• Art
Through the lesson plan, students:
• identify and discuss the ways they use energy every day
• investigate the use of solar energy in their own communities
• nominate someone in their community doing important and inspiring work
with solar energy
As they follow the lesson plan, students learn and practice key approaches to
researching information on both local and global levels. The Project Workbook engages
them in issues of energy resources, and encourages them to examine where their
community fits in a global context of solar energy use. Through discussion,
investigation, research, and communication, students develop key leadership skills to
help raise their community’s awareness of its own energy use, as well as its motivation
to advance sustainable approaches.
Designed for Scale
Teachers in different areas of study can assume or share project leadership. Many
variations on the assignment are possible: An entire class might work together as
a team to nominate one person in their community—or, students can each identify
their own candidate and submit their nominations separately.
The lesson plan is easily adaptable and is scaled to fit any time frame or
curriculum. A small group of students can complete the project in a few days, or
an entire school can follow it over the course of a full academic year.
100 People Under the Sun: A Global Energy Project
Getting Started
Visit the 100 People website (www.100people.org) and click on “100 People
Under the Sun” to learn more about the project.
Where possible, establish a relationship with another school or organization
to raise awareness of solar power and drive momentum in the community.
Identify local agencies, private-sector groups, and institutions of higher
education where you might find solar energy resources and experts to enrich
the activities.
Fill out the registration form and create your own team page (available as an
online form and downloadable PDF here:
Read through the Project Workbook—and you are ready to begin!
Project Workbook
This workbook provides step-by-step applications to help teachers and students
investigate ideas and information about solar energy and to make nominations for the
100 People Under the Sun project.
The following Discussion Topics provide a suggested learning approach, with related
activities to help guide the work. Teachers may elect to use all or none of the
Discussion Topics. Participation in the project officially begins at the Nomination phase.
Learning Objectives:
• Energy understanding and awareness (local and global)
• Research skills development (local and global)
• Leadership skills development
• Discussion Topics
• Activities
• The Nomination
• Nomination Criteria
• Making a Nomination
• Submitting a Nomination
• Useful Documents
100 People Under the Sun: A Global Energy Project
Discussion #1—What is energy?
The goal is for students to think more fundamentally about energy and its various
forms—from photosynthesis to calorie burning to carbon fuel use. Discussions may
integrate multiple areas of the sciences, from the Law of Conservation of Energy (kinetic
vs. potential energy) to the Big Bang Theory. Discussion may also include initial
exploration of current ideas about fuel conservation, environmentalism, and renewable
and sustainable energy.
1. Ask students to identify sources of energy in a 1-meter radius
(themselves, sunlight, food); a 10-meter radius (lamp light, wall socket,
potential energy of objects in high places, sunlight); 1,000-meter radius
(power station, underground carbon sources, wind, air, water, sunlight).
2. Ask students to share their understanding of global energy problems and
solutions. Students may share and discuss their knowledge of renewable
and sustainable energy, wind, water, and solar energy.
Discussion #2—Where does my energy come from?
The goal is for students to understand what resources are being used to provide energy
to their home, and to map the flow of energy from their bedside lamp all the way to its
sources—oil, natural gas, water, coal, wind, or the sun. (See diagrams—pages 9&10).
1. Ask students to trace the path of electricity in their home, starting with their
bedside lamp, through the power chord and into the wall. With their
parents’ guidance, they may be able to find the power box, as well as
follow the electric cables from their building, down their street, and even to
the local substation or power plant.
2. Ask them to research their local energy supplier to find out whether it
derives its energy from renewable sources, non-renewable sources, or a
combination. They may do so by consulting an electric bill, calling the
electric company or researching the company on the Internet.
3. Finally, ask them to create a map of the flow of energy from their lamp to
its original sources either by hand drawing or computer software.
100 People Under the Sun: A Global Energy Project
Discussion #3—What is my carbon footprint?
The goal is for students to understand the concept of a carbon footprint and investigate
how their carbon footprint fits within the global community.
1. Engage the students in a discussion about the concept of a carbon
footprint—the impact that human activities have on the environment
through greenhouse gas produced, measured in units of carbon dioxide.
2. Ask them to calculate their community’s carbon footprint using this online
resource http://green.yahoo.com/calculator (For a more detailed global
calculator use:
1f361e55ec845e&installed=1 We encourage teachers to find a local
calculator that reflects energy consumption in their students' own
3. As them to study this detailed map of global carbon emissions:
http://kelsocartography.com/blog/wpcontent/uploads/2008/03/carbonatlas.pdf. Invite them to discuss their
community’s carbon footprint in the context of this global overview.
4. For more detailed information on relative CO2 emissions by fuel type,
consult this online resource:
5. For detailed energy statistics by country, consult this online resource:
100 People Under the Sun: A Global Energy Project
Discussion #4—What is renewable energy?
The goal is to provide an opportunity for students to begin to connect the idea of
renewable energy sources—specifically solar energy—as a solution to problems they
identify in their own environment.
1. Engage the class in a discussion about renewable and solar energy.
2. Ask them to bring in energy-related news articles from newspapers,
magazines, and the Internet.
3. Create a discussion board. Use a bulletin board or institute an online blog
where you post some of the articles. Then ask the students to comment
on which articles present problems and which present solutions.
4. Visit local sites in your community or surrounding region that allow
students to observe a variety of renewable natural resources and the ways
they are used in our society (manufacturing, energy generation,
commercial uses).
5. Invite community resource experts to explain ways to manage and harvest
renewable energy, including solar power.
6. In the classroom or on the Internet, have students view audiovisual
presentations that depict management, use, and misuse of renewable
natural resources.
7. Have students identify in their own community (town, city, state, or region)
solutions to energy problems, including those with local impact (gas
prices, energy costs, availability, and international dependency).
Discussion #5—How does solar energy work?
The goal is to provide students with a basic understanding of how solar energy and
technologies work. For additional information, consult the online resource:
http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/solar/cfm/faqs/, or consult the resources page on our website.
100 People Under the Sun: A Global Energy Project
The Nomination
The goal is for students to go out into their community and find a person who is a
pioneer or innovator in solar power to nominate for the 100 People Under the Sun
project. To facilitate this process, students can refer to the Community Profile and
Student Interview questions on the following pages.
The assignment is to create a portrait of an individual who has inspired the student.
This individual must be someone who resides in the community, town, city, state, or
region in which the student lives. The portrait should be accompanied by a written
description of the individual's age, gender, position, and background experience
(education, job experience, etc.) with an explanation of why the person has inspired
the student in terms of his/her involvement in solar power.
This assignment has the potential to start a dialogue about the purpose and value
of solar energy, how it fits into environmental awareness, what the “green”
movement is, why alternative energy is important, and how all of this connects to
students as individuals where they live. The local nomination will become part of a
dynamic representation of people using solar power throughout the world.
Schools are encouraged to partner with other local schools, as well as agencies and
organizations within the community, to make nominations. The goal of local
partnerships is to gain a breadth of involvement from different community perspectives,
and to engage schools, teachers, and students as community leaders advancing local
awareness and support of solar power as an alternative energy source.
Nomination Criteria
The nominee can be anyone who is a citizen of the community, town, city, state, or
region where the student lives, and who has inspired the student to learn about solar
power. The nomination criteria are focused on individuals who are engaged in the
development of solar power, the use of solar power, support for solar power
applications, and innovations in the field of solar power. This means the nominee can
be someone who:
• has modeled the use of solar power in an innovative and important way
• has contributed to laws and legislation to encourage and support solar power
• is a pioneer or moving force in the development of solar power
The portrait gallery of 100 People Under the Sun will show nominations received from
all participating schools. The final portrait will be of 100 people chosen from among
these nominations.
100 People Under the Sun: A Global Energy Project
Making a Nomination
The written description of the nominee should include the individual's age and gender,
with an explanation of what the person has done to inspire the nomination. In most
cases, this will involve conducting an interview with the subject, either in person, by
email or by phone. This can be done informally, using a written questionnaire that is
included in the documents portion of this workbook. It is up to the teacher and the group
to determine if the portrait or photograph is done during the investigation/nomination
process or after the investigation and writing components are finished.
Digital photography may be the easiest format for the artistic component of the
nomination if you wish to make your nominations through the website.
Submitting a Nomination
Before submitting their work, students may be offered the opportunity to refine their
submissions, critique each other’s work and refine their own.
When you are ready to submit the nominations, please make sure you have:
Student name
Digital photos or other images saved as JPEG files, 300 DPI
(non-digital files must be mailed to the address below)
Subject name, age, and place of residence
Description of why this person was chosen
Community, Town, City, State or Regional Profile
Image Release Form
Submit completed nominations
via our website:
Or by mail to:
100 People Foundation
15 West 26th Street #914
New York, NY 10010 USA
100 People Under the Sun: A Global Energy Project
Community Profile
Examine your community/town/city to help you create a pool of potential candidates for
your 100 People Under the Sun nomination.
Time Zone
Official Population Number
What industries support your local economy? Have any of these industries initiated any
kind of solar energy project or considered it?
What kinds of energy does your school use? Has the school considered any kind of
solar energy project or begun any such project in the last year?
In what kind of housing do most of the families live (single family, multiple family,
Would you describe your community as rural, urban, or suburban?
What are the sources for electricity in your community?
Do people in your community use other heating sources such as natural gas? Coal?
Heating oil?
Have there been any articles in the local newspaper, or city web site, within the last year
about solar power? If so, how many? What did they say?
Has your local TV or radio station done any news pieces on solar power within the last
year? If so, how many? What were they about?
Who are the government representatives for your community (local, county, state,
Do any government representatives sit on policy boards or groups connected to the use
of solar energy? If so, who and which positions?
Has your local government ever considered or begun any kind of solar power project?
Are there any industries in your community that are related to solar power industries? If
so, which ones? Who are the leaders of these industries?
100 People Under the Sun: A Global Energy Project
Student Interview Form
Who You’re Nominating:
Name of Nominee: ______________________________________________________
Work/Organization (if appropriate):__________________________________________
Title: __________________________________ Age: _______ Gender: ____________
Address (street, village/city, state, zip code, country)
Phone: _____________________ Email: ____________________________________
Spoken Language: ______________________________________________________
Briefly, what is this person's exceptional contribution to solar energy?
What technologies are being used in this new innovation?
What makes this individual an asset in their organization or community?
Describe the impact of the work, both short and long-term if possible.
What do you think is most exceptional about this story?
Do you think the nominee would like to be included in our video portraits of solar
If Yes: Is this person available for filming and interviews?
100 People Foundation
15 West 26 Street, #914
New York, NY 10010 USA
(212) 252-8402
I, being of legal age, hereby irrevocably consent that my name, image, and likeness, as
shown in the photographs, videotapes, and/or electronic images in which I appear,
and/or audio recording made of my voice and words may be used in whole in part in any
and all media by the 100 People Foundation at any time in whatever way is desired free
and clear of an claim whatsoever on my part.
ON THIS DAY OF__________________________________________________
NAME ______________________________________________AGE_________
EMAIL ADDRESS__________________________________________________
100 People Foundation
15 West 26 Street, #914
New York, NY 10010 USA
(212) 252-8402
I, being the Parent/Guardian of_________________________(Name of Minor), hereby
irrevocably consent that his/her name, image, and likeness, as shown in the
photographs, videotapes, motion picture film and/or electronic images in which he/she
appear, and/or audio recording made of his/her voice and words may be used in whole
or in part in any and all media by the 100 People Foundation at any time in whatever
way is desired free and clear of any claim whatsoever on my part or the minor’s part.
ON THIS DAY OF_______________________________________________________
NAME OF MINOR _____________________________________ AGE_____________
NAME OF PARENT/GUARDIAN____________________________________________
EMAIL ADDRESS_______________________________________________________