Action Plan

Scope & Sequence


Teacher's Guide



About the Author

Saving Energy, When will the light bulb go out?


Oil and natural gas are the lifeblood of the United States's economy and a part of the Houston economy.

The fifth grade students at Bethune Academy, Houston Texas, study fossil fuels as part of their science curriculum. After the study of fossil fuels the students, as part of their "Community Science Action Study," wanted to find out how fast the supply of fossil fuels are being used up. The students also wanted to find out how the use of petroleum products affects the rate that petroleum is used.

The students came up with two essential questions.

  1. How fast is fossil energy (specifically oil) being used up? (Depletion)

  2. What can people do to slow down the depletion of fossil energy?
This has been a challenge for the fifth grade: first, to understand how fossil fuels are formed and then to find out if they can answer the two questions above. We hope you enjoy reading our project.

(1)Bethune Academy, Houston Texas, is a fourth and fifth grade magnet school for Mathematics, Science, and Fine Arts in the Aldine Independent School District. Their science curriculum was written by the science teachers with a grant from Exxon/Mobil, and the Harris County Department of Education. The curriculum is called "Education For the Energy Industry." (EEI)


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