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What is it?

The Energy4Travel National Action Project is a national citizen science data collection project which enables students and other youth to explore the energy impacts of their personal transportation choices.

What will participating students and youth do during the project?

As citizen scientists, students and other youth are able to individually collect data about their personal transportation usage and then compare their data to that of their group (e.g., class, club, etc.). Groups are also able to compare their data with other groups across Canada. As a result of the data collection, participants are encouraged to make data-driven decisions about their transportation energy use, including ways to use energy more efficiently.

Why is this data worth collecting?

Transportation uses a LOT of energy! In Canada, transportation accounts for almost 30% of our energy demand (second only to industry) which is about the same as for all other businesses and homes combined. Over half of that demand is for passenger transportation. In fact, a recent report has found that Canadians on average spend more money on transportation than on food.

Young people represent a large sector of transportation users and their use of transportation has been steadily increasing. This project will help participating youth become aware of the types of transportation they use, the distances they travel, the reasons for their transportation use and the energy consumption that can be directly attributed to their own transportation use. It will also enable students to compare transportation energy use patterns by their peers across Canada.

What resources will be available to support the project?

Curriculum-aligned educator resources will be available at no cost to groups participating in the project. The educator resources will support student understanding of Canada’s energy system as well as support the development of critical thinking and decision-making skills regarding the choices Canadians make relating to their transportation use. The resources will address a number of topics addressed in grade 8-12 curricula (see curriculum connections) related to transportation and energy including: Sources of fuel (gasoline, diesel, ethanol) Fuel combustion and energy conversion Environmental impacts of transportation Energy consumption Sustainable energy use Data management

What are the benefits of participation?

Now, more than ever, young people need to think critically about their role as energy consumers so that they can make informed choices about energy issues in the future. By participating in this project, participating youth will be encouraged to think critically about energy they consume just about every day but often take for granted – the energy consumed to get from place to place.

What is the time commitment for the project?

Ideally, participants will collect one week of baseline data and then one week of data after creating and implementing an energy-reduction action plan. Groups are welcome to collect data for as as many or as few days as they wish and can repeat data collection at different times of year if they are interested.

Do I have to do the project at any particular time of year?

Not at all. The project can be done at any time of year.

Do students have to register for CurioCity in order to participate?

Yes, each person who will be entering data has to register on CurioCity to be able to join the Energy4Travel Action Project. Registration is easy. Students simply click where it says "I'm not a member yet: REGISTER" in the green Join Us box on the upper right side of the CurioCity home page and then follow the prompts. Students need valid email addresses in order to register. View data

If I registered for the project last year, do I have to register again this year?

No! If you registered last year, you are ready to go. All you need to do now is start new class groups. You can still look at last years' group data (your groups will say -2013 after the name) and compare it to data from this year if you wish.

Do I need an entire class to participate?

Not at all. Once you create a group, you can have as few as one student in your group. Some teachers have used the project as an extracurricular activity or an independent learning project for individuals and small groups of students.

Can I do with project with an after school group or club?

Definitely. Energy4Travel would be a great project for an environmental club or group that is interested in measuring their carbon footprint. Our online calculator tells you how much energy you use as well as how much carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide your transportation generates for every trip! Groups can develop action plans to reduce energy consumption and see if their plans worked using real data!

What if my students live in a rural area?

Energy4Travel is not just for city kids. Students across Canada, no matter where they live, can participate in the project. All students need is internet access and a valid email address. Students can track their use of many forms of transportation including boats, airplanes, ATVs/UTVs and of course - school buses!

What if I have a French immersion class?

The Energy4Travel online data collection tool as well as the core project lesson plans are all available in French. Go to http://www.explorecuriocite.org/Research/ActionProjects/Energy4Travel.aspx to participate in the project in French.

What is Let’s Talk Science?

Let’s Talk Science is an award-winning, national, charitable outreach organization. Let’s Talk Science creates and delivers unique learning programs and services that engage children, youth and educators in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). CurioCity/CurioCité is a web-based program developed by Let’s Talk Science to connect students and teachers with the STEM community, offering an interactive and reliable place for youth, ages 13-17, to explore and engage in STEM issues. For more information about Let’s Talk Science, please visit www.letstalkscience.ca.

Questions? Please send us an email at educators@explorecuriocity.org.