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Dane County Office of Energy and Climate change


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Social Studies, English Language Arts

Resource Type

  • Article

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States, USA - Midwest, Wisconsin

The Path Forward - Forest Edge Elementary School Update

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  • This article provides information about an elementary school that is the largest net-zero energy school in Wisconsin.
  • Students will learn about the importance of sustainability in relation to climate change and the steps taken to include the local community in decision-making. 
  • The benefit of becoming energy efficient is often mentioned as a valuable topic for students to learn.
Teaching Tips


  • The information will work well as either a whole-class read-aloud or as an individual assignment.
  • Themes of sustainability and community support are found throughout the article, which can be starting points for units about those topics.
  • With one click, this article can be translated into many languages.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Teachers of younger students may wish to provide a definition list to support comprehension.
  • Students should have a basic understanding of the phrase "net-zero energy school" before reading. 
  • Teachers and/or students will need internet access to read the article, unless the teacher wishes to print it.


  • Connections can be made in math classes due to numerical data being mentioned. 
  • Since the article is fairly short, it can become the basis for an excellent substitute lesson plan.
  • Consider having students conduct research about energy efficient projects on a local level.
  • Students in social studies classes can utilize the information to construct an infographic that explains how a community worked together to help the planet.
Scientist Notes
This article resource features an elementary school built with sustainability in mind and is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • English Language Arts
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • RI.9-10.6 Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how an author uses rhetorical devices to advance that point of view or purpose.
      • RI.11-12.1 Accurately cite strong and thorough textual evidence, (e.g., via discussion, written response, etc.), to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferentially, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-4. Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • HS-ETS1-1. Analyze a major global challenge to specify qualitative and quantitative criteria and constraints for solutions that account for societal needs and wants.
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