Middle School Home Energy Audit
In the Classroom - Teaching Example
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Class: Mrs. Emmons integrated 8th grade science classes consisting of 120 students with a variety of technological skills.
School" Powell Middle School in Littleton Colorado which is a school consisting of middle class and upper middle class students with a supportive parent and community.
School Year: spring 1999 and 1999-2000
Curricular Area: Science-Littleton Public Schools District Curriculum -primarily with the earth science emphasis on fossil fuel/renewable energy. State Standards-No.1Scientific Investigation, No. 4. Students understand how science, technology, and economic activity have developed, changed over time.
Social Studies: State Standards. District in revision-Posted later Math-Colorado Standard No 3 that states student use data collection and analysis, statistics, and probability in problem solving. Districts- Posted later in revision.
Curricular Goals: The student will understand that fossil fuel cannot be the main energy source of the future and will explore the geographical options.
Length of Unit: 6-9 weeks
The project will start by having the students audit their home and school energy use by keeping a journal of amount of use for one week. After they tally and post their results on email to the other schools that are also doing the project in the Denver Area, the students will be given the scenario from the Denver Post that with the growth in the Denver Area and continued increased consumption of energy there will be continued brown outs like we had in the summer of 1998. It will continue saying that the Public Service Company would like them to investigate how they can solve this problem.
In Mrs. Emmons 8th grade science classes we have the option to have 40-80 minute block periods. Usually they run 50 minutes and occasionally can run up to 200 minutes. The teacher will determine the length of the hour on a weekly basis and how much will be used for the project after discussing what needs to be done with her students.
The students will be in groups with emphasis on tasks (Examples-email, Internet research, Cow posting, contacting scientist directly, technological skills). The goal of the students is to use the Internet as individuals/group and to be able to communicate their finding to the teacher, other student groups in the class, other student groups in other Denver area schools, parents and community, and NREL scientists. They will do peer evaluation every 2 weeks with a rubrics that will be shared with the teacher, Mrs. Emmons.
The role of the teacher is a facilitator who checks to see if the student/group is on the correct path or if she can help or find out where/who may be the best support. Powells' parent/community support is vast and the students will go to them for assistance as well as Dr. Camelio,the Computer Coach and the Media Specialist, Ms.James.
The areas will change by spring for the Internet, but the primary areas now are in the media center, main computer lab and Mrs. Emmons'room.
The main Internet resources used will be NREL database. The students will be doing other forms of engaged learning such as labs in solar energy and posting them for other students and scientist.
At the end of the 9 weeks the groups will present their findings and conclusions on email and orally in the classroom. This will be during seminar time that the four core teachers will grade the students/group with assessment rubric for the presentation and end product.