Nikki Neutron’s Energy Adventure

How to Use This Program

Duke Energy and The National Theatre for Children (NTC) invite you to use these e-learning resources to teach your students about energy efficiency. The digital materials below are designed to get your students excited about understanding this important subject.

Want to know the best way to use the related videos, games, smart speaker activity and other lessons to educate your class? Watch this short video and learn how to easily add Nikki Neutron’s Energy Adventure to your curriculum.

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Educational Standards

We know your class time is extremely valuable. That’s why NTC ensures that all of our e-learning materials are aligned with state and national educational standards. It’s important that the Nikki Neutron’s Energy Adventure digital program adds to your existing curriculum and keeps students on track with their ongoing learning.

Click here for details about how each activity aligns with educational standards and corresponds with your state’s curricula.

Educational Standards
Program Video

Our livestream events offer classrooms a convenient, online-accessible option for experiencing educational theatre.

This 35-minute show presents a virtual lesson in energy efficiency for grades K-6. Through an interactive web platform, a live host will introduce a series of entertaining sketches featuring a variety of characters in professionally filmed scenes from educational theatrical productions.

The sketches focus on the following educational points:

  • How we measure energy use
  • How energy is wasted
  • How we conserve energy
  • What renewable resources are

Watch in the classroom or at home. You’ll experience important lessons on energy efficiency along with calls to action and additional activities you can do at home and in the community.

Educator Assessments

Follow-up, formative assessments for you to gauge the learning of your students are especially important with e-learning. Below are some suggestions for how you can assess your students’ performance quickly and effectively.

These assessments are easy for you and your students to complete and help ensure your class is getting the maximum educational value from the related activities.

Elementary Educational Assessments Livestream Hands-on lessons Digital games E-book Graphic novel Interactive activities Print materials
Ask students to reflect on the topic and draw their thoughts on paper x     x x    
Write one or two sentences identifying the main point x x   x x    
Think-pair-share x     x x    
One-question quiz     x     x  
Journal reflection x     x x    
Have students discuss three things they learned, two things they still want to learn, and one question they still have x     x x    
Hand in completed activity   x       x x
Submit screenshot of completed activity     x     x  

Interactive Activities

Words to Know

Hover over the image to reveal the definition.

A small attachment on a faucet to save water in kitchens and bathrooms
To save or use wisely
Producing very little waste
A useful source of energy used in many ways
The ability to do work and the force that makes things change
A lightbulb that uses less energy than an incandescent bulb
A showerhead that saves water and energy
A card that shows the temperature of your water to help you save energy
One thousand watts of electricity
Things we use to make electricity, like coal and natural gas
Using 1,000 watts of electricity for one hour
To use thoughtlessly or carelessly
A unit of electricity

Lesson 1: Do Electrical Appliances Save Time?

Students will recognize how people use energy to do work that was once done by hand.

21st Century Skills
Communication, Creativity

Cognitive Level
Skills and Concepts

Class Time
45 minutes


  • 1 electric mixer
  • 2 bowls
  • 2 pudding packages
  • 4 cups milk
  • Paper cups (1 per student)
  • Plastic spoons (1 per student)
  • 1 wooden spoon
  • Stopwatch or classroom clock

Divide the class into teams. Teams of three or four work best.

  • Explain to students that it takes energy to do things. Electricity is a convenient form of energy.
  • Put the following on the board:  THEN    NOW
  • Ask students to add examples of the ways we do things now, and how it was done in the past.
  • Write the following on the board:   RED    GREEN
    • What might happen?
    • What we did:
    • What we saw:
    • What we think: (conclusion)
  • Divide the class into Red and Green teams. The students will be making chocolate pudding two different ways: THEN using a spoon; and NOW using an electric mixer.
  • Ask: “Which method will take longer?” Fill in their prediction on the board.
  • Hand out an electric mixer to an adult helper on the Red side. Hand out a wooden spoon to the Green side.
  • Have each group mix the pudding powder and milk together. Ask students to time how long it takes to mix the pudding and to observe how easy or difficult it is to mix. After the pudding and milk are combined, put it aside to set.
  • Have students write down what they did and saw.
  • Serve up the pudding into paper cups. Have students write a conclusion that explains what they observed.

Critical Thinking Questions

Do the two puddings taste different?

  • No. Mixing in different ways does not affect taste. It only affects how long it takes to complete the task.

What could you do with the time saved by using the mixer?

  • Answers will vary.

Was one method more fun than the other?

  • Answers will vary.

Lesson 2: Classroom Energy Hunt

This audit will help you and your students examine your classroom to identify ways your class can help conserve energy. Habits like turning lights off when not in use are important for conserving energy for the future. Creating a draft detector is a simple way to find air leaks in windows and doors to determine energy efficiency.

Purpose of Activity

Review, Identify Details, Communicate, Create

21st Century Skills

Critical Thinking

Cognitive Level

Strategic and Extended Thinking

Class Time

25 minutes

  • Pencils
  • Tape
  • Tissue paper

  1. Cut a piece of tissue paper the same length as the pencil.
  2. Tape the tissue paper to the pencil.
  3. Trim the length of the paper to six inches.
How to use the draft detector

Hold the draft detector close to the edges of windows or doors where they meet the wall. Hold still for 30 seconds. Make sure that heating or cooling vents are not blowing the paper. If the draft detector moves, it means that energy is escaping because the windows or doors are not airtight. This means the furnace or air conditioner has to produce more energy to heat and cool the room because the air is escaping.

Start the energy hunt

  1. Hold the draft detector up to the sides of a window where the window meets the wall. See if the draft detector moves as you hold it in front of the seam.
  2. Hold the draft detector up to the edges of doors. Do you detect air moving through the cracks of the door?
  3. Are there electrical devices on that could be turned off?
  4. Where are the heating and cooling vents? Is there anything blocking them that can be moved?
  5. Are there coverings to block out the sun’s heat on hot days?
  6. Where is the thermostat located? At what temperature is the thermostat set?
  7. How many LED lightbulbs are in the classroom?

Critical Thinking Questions

Why is it important to save energy and what can your class do to save energy?

  • Saving energy saves money and the environment.
  • Turning off lights and computers that are not in use can help save energy.

Are there other places in the school that would benefit by being tested with the draft detector?

  • Other classrooms, offices, cafeteria, etc.

Open Your Eyes ...

When it comes to our everyday activities, some of us use more energy than others. But we can all be more energy efficient. Find out how you can help! Here are nine things you and your students can do to save energy:

  1. Turn off the lights when you leave the room.
  2. Turn off televisions, tablets and video games when you’re finished using them. Unplug computers, cellphone chargers and devices that have a ‘standby’ mode when they are not in use.
  3. Don’t stand in front of the open refrigerator door searching for what you want. Decide what you want ahead of time, then open the door and grab it.
  4. Ask your parents to replace your regular lightbulbs with LED bulbs.
  5. Use a small lamp when you read or study instead of turning on all the lights in the room.
  6. Help your parents shop for appliances with the ENERGY STAR® label – these products save energy.
  7. In the winter, open your curtains or blinds to let the sun heat your room.
  8. Take short showers instead of baths.
  9. Keep the thermostat set to 78°F or higher in the summer and at or below 68°F in the winter.