Handbook of Engaged Learning Projects


Project Summary

HELP Index
Student Pages

Subject/Content Area:

Physical science/electricity, geometry and applied mathematics

Target Audience:

Middle school level - all students including gifted, learning-disabled, behavior-disordered and limited English proficient

Project Goals:

As a result of their participation in the Activating the EnergyNet project, the students will develop the abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry. They will increase their understanding of factors affecting energy cost and consumption, including the impact of energy production on the environment and the available technology and conversion costs. Students will use problem-solving strategies to design and implement interventions, assess the outcome, share data and strategies with other schools, and present their findings to the Board of Education.

Learner Outcomes: Students will:

Alignment with National Standards: Activating EnergyNet demonstrates elements of the National Science Education Standards:

This project also demonstrates elements of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Curriculum Standards for Grades 5-8: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, and 10.

Assessment of Students:

The teacher continually assesses student performance throughout this project. Informal teacher observation assesses accuracy and completeness of data collection. The teacher reviews the data collected by the students to check its reasonableness. The teacher also engages in informal conversation and questioning of students to determine the depth of their understanding of collection procedures and of the importance of accuracy. Other, more formal assessments occur throughout the project. Following the data-collection activities, calculation of energy consumption and cost creates the basis for monthly group presentations of the interventions and the impact on cost. Cost information provided by the district personnel provides baseline data for comparison of cost-effectiveness as students make monthly comparisons. After the students have completed each presentation, they will individually develop hypotheses to solve the problem, and the group will use problem-solving strategies to determine the feasibility and cost of each intervention. Since light, appliances and HVAC groups work simultaneously on creating interventions, the interaction between these variables require the consideration of the entire team. Finally, representatives of each team will plan and submit data and cost reductions to the Board of Education and summarize the most effective interventions.

Authors: Dr. Bonnie Kuhrt, Kathe Lacey-Anderson and Kim Provus from Carl Sandburg Jr. High School in Rolling Meadows, Illinois
Handbook of Engaged Learning Projects sponsored by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory Education Office and Friends of Fermilab. Funded by the Midwest Consortium for Mathematics and Science Education based at the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL).
Last Updated: September 3, 1999