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Your Energy Needs

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Your Energy Needs

In this activity about the relationship between food and energy (page 8 of PDF), learners estimate average daily baseline energy (Calorie) needs and energy needs for different levels of activity. Learners will calculate how many Calories a typical teenager needs every day, known as Basal Metabolic Rate or BMR, as well as their own baseline Calorie needs based on gender, age, height, and weight. Learners will calculate this using the Harris-Benedict Equation. This guide includes background information, setup and management tips, extensions, and handouts.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per student)

  • Copies of student sheets (pp. 10-11 of PDF)
  • Calculator


  • Life Sciences
    • Cells
      • Cell Metabolism
      • Chemistry of Life
    • Ecology
      • Energy Flow and Chemical Cycles
    • Human Body
      • Digestion
      • Health and Nutrition
  • Mathematics
    • Algebra
      • Equations and Inequalities
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
      • Data Representation
    • Measurement
      • Rate
    • Number and Operations
    • Problem Solving
  • Physical Sciences
    • Energy
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results

Informal Categories

  • Food and Cooking
  • Sports and Exercise


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read

Learning styles supported:

  • Uses STEM to solve real-world problems
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Moreno, Nancy P.; Clayton, Sonia Rahmati; Cutler, Paula H.; Young, Martha S.; Tharp, Barbara Z.


  • All Rights Reserved, Baylor College of Medicine, ©2009

Funding Source:

  • NASA, NCC9-58


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