Earth Hour

Earth Hour
Earth Hour is an annual international event designed to raise awareness about global climate change. The campaign encourages governments, businesses, and private citizens to turn off all unnecessary lights for an hour in order to promote conservation of energy resources. They are hoping to get one billion participants from around the globe to create a proactive, rolling blackout to send a message to world leaders that global climate change matters to the world's citizens and to raise awareness about conservation efforts happening year-round.

In 2018, Earth Hour will be held on Saturday, March 24, 8:30-9:30 p.m. local time, all over the world. Thousands of towns across more than 180 countries plan to take part. Science NetLinks offers these resources to help explore the ideas of light pollution, energy conservation, and global climate change in your classroom and beyond.
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  • Just Turn It Off

    Just Turn It Off

    K-2  |  Hands-On
    In this lesson, students will probe the problem of what happens to a battery-operated flashlight when it is not turned off.
  • Energy Sources and Use

    Energy Sources and Use

    3-5  |  Hands-On
    In this lesson, students distinguish between renewable and nonrenewable sources of energy while comparing the benefits and drawbacks of each.
  • The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge

    The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge

    3-5  |  Video
    This lesson should help students understand both the physical forces behind climate change, and the social responses to it as a means to preserve the health of people, the state of cities, island nations, and organisms.
  • Power Up!

    Power Up!

    3-5  |  Interactive
    In this lesson, students compare and contrast different energy sources and the trade-offs of using them.
  • Energy for You

    Energy for You

    In this lesson, students will learn about the sources of the energy that supply their community.
  • Grasslands and Climate Change

    Grasslands and Climate Change

    6-8  |  Video
    This lesson provides students with an opportunity to explore the climate change concept in greater depth.
  • Too Bright at Night?

    Too Bright at Night?

    In this lesson, students will consider the negative consequences of nighttime lighting, enabled by the invention of electric lights at the close of the 19th century.
  • Abrupt Climate Change

    Abrupt Climate Change

    In this lesson, students explore how scientific knowledge changes in the context of abrupt climate change.
  • Green Roof Design

    Green Roof Design

    In this student-centered learning model, students work collaboratively in small teams to design a heat- and water-conserving “green roof” of plant material for an urban apartment building.
  • Renewable Energy Sources

    Renewable Energy Sources

    6-8  |  Website
    In this lesson, students will use Internet resources to investigate renewable sources of energy.
  • Energy: The U.S. in Crisis?

    Energy: The U.S. in Crisis?

    In this lesson, students research and assess past, present, and future decisions related to energy shortages.


  • AC/DC What’s the Difference?

    AC/DC What’s the Difference?

    6-12  |  Website
    This resource from PBS takes a look at the differences between alternating currents (AC) and direct currents (DC).
  • Going Green: An Earth Day Bibliography

    Going Green: An Earth Day Bibliography

    K-12  |  Teaching Aid
    SB&F has put together a list of our top environmental books to help the consumer make informed, eco-friendly choices and to encourage children to take an active role in saving the environment.
  • Kilo-What?


    3-8  |  Interactive
    This resource provides an introduction to electricity and power plants.
  • NASA's Climate Kids

    NASA's Climate Kids

    K-8  |  Video
    NASA's climate change site for kids asks and answers important questions relating to climate change as well as providing entertaining career insights, online games, videos, and hands-on activities.
  • Power Up!

    Power Up!

    3-8  |  Interactive
    This interactive challenges students to think about the positive and negative consequences of various types of power.
  • What We Know

    What We Know

    9-12  |  Video
    What We Know is an assessment of current climate science and impacts that emphasizes the need to understand and recognize possible high-risk scenarios.
  • Your Carbon Diet

    Your Carbon Diet

    6-12  |  Interactive
    This interactive allows students to learn about how we use different energy sources and how it affects not only our environment but also our budget.
  • YardMap


    K-12  |  Interactive
    YardMap is a free, interactive, citizen science mapping project about habitat creation and low-impact land use.

Science Updates

  • Ascending Plants

    Ascending Plants

    6-12  |  Audio
    As climate change heats up the world's ecosystems, many species of plants and animals, from songbirds to whales, are leaving their time-tested home ecosystems for uncharted territory. This Science Update looks at how some plants are changing altitude to find a cooler place to live.
  • Changing Oceans

    Changing Oceans

    6-12  |  Audio
    According to a landmark study in the journal Science, climate change is transforming the world's oceans, at a potentially huge cost. You'll hear more about it in this Science Update.
  • Early Climate Change

    Early Climate Change

    6-12  |  Audio
    Human activities like farming have contributed some amount of greenhouse gas to the atmosphere for ages
  • Electricity from Sewage

    Electricity from Sewage

    6-12  |  Audio
    In this Science Update we learn how researchers are using leftover material—wastewater—as a way to generate electricity.
  • Fish on Acid

    Fish on Acid

    6-12  |  Audio
    Fish in acidified waters exhibit strange and often reckless behaviors.
  • Fossil Fuel Switch

    Fossil Fuel Switch

    6-12  |  Audio
    Learn about a thirty-year plan to replace 70 percent of our fossil fuels, using only current technologies like storable solar power, safer nuclear plants, and methanol from crop waste.
  • Houses and Environment

    Houses and Environment

    6-12  |  Audio
    As number of households is increasing faster than the human population is growing, it puts a strain on our energy resources.
  • Killer Windows

    Killer Windows

    6-12  |  Audio
    Keeping windows dark might help prevent birds flying into them.
  • Night Lights

    Night Lights

    6-12  |  Audio
    In this Science Update, hear why bright nighttime lights could also be bad for women's health.
  • Ships to Reefs

    Ships to Reefs

    6-12  |  Audio
    Sinking old warships creates new habitats for marine species.
  • Smart Headlights

    Smart Headlights

    6-12  |  Audio
    “Smart” headlights improve visibility by illuminating the road ahead, but not raindrops or snowflakes.
  • Solar Power from Moon

    Solar Power from Moon

    6-12  |  Audio
    Solar power is clean, abundant, and becoming cheaper and more efficient all the time. Unfortunately, however, the sun isn't always there when you need it—like when it's cloudy, or it's raining, or it's nighttime. In this Science Update, you'll hear about an ambitious plan to get around that problem.
  • Talking Lights

    Talking Lights

    6-12  |  Audio
    Fluorescent lights could be used for more than illumination if their flickering patterns turned into code.
  • Thoreau's Plants

    Thoreau's Plants

    6-12  |  Audio
    In this Science Update, hear how researches are using Henry David Thoreau's plant journals to study climate change.
  • Urban Greening

    Urban Greening

    6-12  |  Audio
    Strategically placed grass, ivy, and other greenery can significantly improve air quality in urban centers.
  • Wasted Food Energy

    Wasted Food Energy

    6-12  |  Audio
    In this Science Update, hear how reducing food waste could translate into big energy savings.
  • Alaskan Power Microgrids

    Alaskan Power Microgrids

    6-12  |  Audio
    This Science Update looks at how Alaska leads the way to a more independent and renewable energy supply.
  • Cooling from Nature

    Cooling from Nature

    6-12  |  Audio
    Engineers are designing more efficient cooling systems inspired by physical processes in nature.


  • Earth Day

    Earth Day

    This collection of Science NetLinks lessons and resources will help teachers and students prepare for the celebration of Earth Day.
  • Inventing Green

    Inventing Green

    With support from the Lemelson Foundation, this collection offers an introduction to invention education, with an emphasis on thinking critically about environmental implications.

Other Resources

Earth Hour
Grade Band: 3-12
Description: Earth Hour is an annual international campaign to affect the global policy on climate change. It culminates in an hourlong, rolling worldwide blackout on the fourth Saturday in March.

World Wildlife Fund
Grade Band: K-12
Description: The World Wildlife Fund is an international organization devoted to conservation efforts. It is one of the key sponsors of Earth Hour, and this site offers games and activities to put students into a mindset to think about conservation.

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