Alternative Energy STEM


In this lesson, students will learn about alternative sources of energy. They will explore the pros and cons of several different alternative energy sources. They will also become designers and engineers as they create an alternative energy source to save their school through the STEM activity.

This lesson is engaging and hands-on, ensuring that students will be excited about learning about alternative energy sources. They’ll love getting to put their design and engineering skills to the test as they create a working model of an alternative energy source. Plus, they’ll be proud to know that they’re helping to save their school money and make it more sustainable!

Sign Up to Download


What our Alternative Energy STEM lesson plan includes

Lesson Objectives and Overview: Alternative Energy STEM explores the various sources of energy that we can use instead of traditional forms. Students will discover the pros and cons of each source. They will also learn how to differentiate between a traditional and an alternative energy source. This lesson is for students in 4th grade, 5th grade, and 6th grade.

Classroom Procedure

Every lesson plan provides you with a classroom procedure page that outlines a step-by-step guide to follow. You do not have to follow the guide exactly. The guide helps you organize the lesson and details when to hand out worksheets. It also lists information in the yellow box that you might find useful. You will find the lesson objectives, state standards, and number of class sessions the lesson should take to complete in this area. In addition, it describes the supplies you will need as well as what and how you need to prepare beforehand. For this lesson, gather poster boards, markers, blindfolds, containers, and 92 of one type of bean and 8 of a different type of bean for each pair of students.

Options for Lesson

In the “Options for Lesson” section of the classroom procedure page, you’ll find several suggestions for additional activities or exercises to incorporate if you want to. One idea is to have an expert on alternative energy sources come discuss renewable forms of energy with the class and answer their questions. Another option is for students to track things they use each day that require energy. Then have them figure out ways that they could reduce their use of energy. If possible, you could have students use energy bills to understand how people are charged for their energy usage. This can also be incorporated into a math lesson. One more suggestion is to create a school energy awareness campaign during which your students teach other students about renewable energy sources.

Teacher Notes

The teacher notes page provides an extra paragraph of information to help guide the lesson. You can use the blank lines to write down any other ideas or thoughts you have about the topic as you prepare.


The Alternative Energy STEM lesson plan includes three worksheets: an activity worksheet, a practice worksheet, and a homework assignment. Each one will reinforce students’ comprehension of lesson material in different ways and help them demonstrate when they learned. Use the guidelines on the classroom procedure page to determine when to distribute each worksheet to the class.


Students will get their creative juices flowing for this activity. They must imagine the school is running out of the energy and create a new renewable energy source to keep the lights on and the computers running. After deciding which type of alternative energy they will use, students will create a list of materials and resources they need to implement their chosen source. Then they will list three reasons they chose that type of energy source.

After preparing this information, students will also create posters. The posters must display the type of alternative energy students chose and a drawing or diagram of their energy plan. In addition, they will list the pros and cons for the school and the environment. Finally, they will explain why they believe this is the best source of energy for the school.


For the practice worksheet, students will work with a partner. Each pair of students will put 100 beans (92 of one color and 8 of another) in a container. One person will put on a blindfold and represent a population who uses energy without thinking about it. Throughout the assignment, they will pull beans out of the container. Each time it is a renewable resource, they will return it to the container before drawing again.

The students will predict how long it will take before the nonrenewable energy is gone. They will take out 10 beans at a time and mark in the table how many renewable energy sources remain. When all the beans are gone, they will write how many years it took before the nonrenewable energy was gone. Then they will return all the beans to the container and start over, this time taking five more beans out each year. At the end, they will respond to the two prompts at the bottom of the second practice page.


The homework assignment requires students to match definitions and terms. They will review 10 definitions and match them to the correct term from the word bank. You can choose whether or not you allow students to use the content pages for reference.

Worksheet Answer Keys

The lesson plan document provides answer keys for the practice and homework worksheets. Given the nature of the practice worksheet, the answers will vary depending on each experiment. For the homework assignment, however, students’ responses should match exactly. If you choose to administer the lesson pages to your students via PDF, you will need to save a new file that omits these pages. Otherwise, you can simply print out the applicable pages and keep these as reference for yourself when grading assignments.

Additional information


4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade


Science, STEM

State Educational Standards


Lessons are aligned to meet the education objectives and goals of most states. For more information on your state objectives, contact your local Board of Education or Department of Education in your state.