Middle School Home Energy Audit
In the Classroom - Teaching Example
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Class: Ms. Stellema's 7th grade Integrated Science classes consisting of 6 sections (47 minute class periods) with a total of 155 students of all ability levels including special ed and gifted and talented. Monarch K-8 is located in Louisville, Colorado surrounded by a middle and upper middle class community.
School Year: Spring 1999
Curricular Areas & Goals: Primary emphasis will be on Science and will meet State Standards 1,2,5,6. Other areas will include math, language arts and social studies. Curriculum goals are to have students understand energy needs and consumption and to have an understanding of fossil fuels and alternative energies.
Technologies Available: Monarch K-8 has a computer lab (currently being used most of the day to teach computer classes, a writing center (which must service the entire K-8 population) and two computers per classroom (one of which has internet access).
Length of Unit: 6 weeks
Project: The project will begin by students entering the room with the lights off. They are told that when they woke up this morning the world was without electricity!! They are to write a creative writing story that tells what their day would be like. After this activity has engaged the students, an informal assessment is given to find out the level of students previous knowledge. After this, students are introduced to the project by means of the scenario and challenged to begin their investigation. Students begin by conducting energy audits of their school and home. Students will keep a journal, tally results and post them to other schools in the area also participating in the project via a form submitted by e-mail.
The class will meet each day for 47 minutes and the groups will be heterogeneous groups selected by the teacher. Students will be involved in a variety of tasks which include searching the internet for information, contacting NREL scientists, using NREL's databases and communicating with other students via e-mail. They will do group evaluations weekly and keep daily logs of work accomplished.
Students may be involved in the solar oven competition or using the internet to research their presentation. The role of the teacher is a facilitator who checks to see if the students are on the correct path or if she can help direct their learning. At the end of the nine weeks, students will present their findings and recommendations for Sprawlorus Homebuilders in an oral/visual format.