Free resources for educators

Are you looking for innovative and motivational ways to teach your class about energy and the environment?

We offer a variety of free resources to help teachers inspire and encourage students to learn in fun ways. Engage your students in math and science with these interactive activities. 

We would love to help you find the right tools for your classroom. Call 1-916-732-6738 or email to find out about borrowing materials.

Let’s shape tomorrow’s energy leaders with education and inspiration.

Classroom visits

Check out our free interactive, NGSS based self-paced lessons.

Our staff is ready to join your class and lead your students through an engaging live exploration. We’ll even send teachers project materials for your students to reinforce learning objectives.

To sign up for a free lesson, email us at

(Grade 1)

NGSS Standard: 1-ESS1-1/2
Description: Students learn about the movement of the sun in the sky.
Hands-on activity: Sundial using sidewalk chalk and their own bodies.

(Grade 3)

NGSS Standard: 3-PS2-3
Description: Students learn all about magnetic forces.
Hands-on activity: Magnets and magnetic race cars.

(Grade 4)

NGSS Standard: 4-PS3-3
Description: What types of energy does the sun produce?
Hands-on activity: Experiment with UV beads to understand UV radiation, visible light, and more.

(Grade 5)

NGSS Standard: 5-PS1-3
Description: How is static electricity created? Can you predict static charges?
Hands-on activity: Common household materials.

(Grade 6)

NGSS Standard: MS-ETS1-1
Description: Learn the four basic parts of an electric circuit.
Hands-on activity: Light up circuit greeting cards.

Self-serve lessons

Looking for lesson plans to download and use all on your own? Check out these resources we’ve put together to help you teach your students about energy and sustainability.

Be a Sun Safety Detective

(Grades 3-5)

Learn about how the sun produces ultraviolet light and do a simple experiment to show how this may harm eyes and skin.

Exploring Wind Energy

(Grades 3-5)

Breeze through discovering wind energy, how it can be harnessed and why it is good for the environment.

Solar Buddies

(Grades 2-3)

Team up to track the movement of the sun, discover the cardinal directions and demystify shadows.

LED Paper Crafting

(Grades 3-6)

Make electric greeting cards and learn all about simple circuits with LEDs, a battery and a whole bunch of creativity.

Shadow Lights

(Grades 1-3)

Learn about engineering and design using light to create a shadow puppet theater.

Watt's up

Bring the topics of energy and environment to your math and science lessons and show students how to measure energy use. SMUD will lend watt meters for your use and give you copies of materials at no cost.

Watt's Up

Vampire Load

Get students to think about the cost, both financial and environmental, of using energy and how to avoid wasting it.  Students will learn to recognize and calculate the cost of devices that draw power when not in use.


Teach electric circuits and the engineering design process with fun and zany "Bristlebots."

Educational videos

This educational video about SMUD's energy sources will help students understand renewable energy, carbon reduction and how electricity is made. 

This interactive virtual tour of a dairy digester plant explains how cow waste can be turned into a sustainable source of power. 

Stay safe around electricity

Free classroom resources make teaching electricity safety easy. Learn more.


Looking for more? View our online resources for kids.