Middle School Home Energy Audit
- Energy experts would begin a project like this by brainstorming questions based on the problem they will investigate.
- They assess how much they know and what they still need to learn.
- They outline a plan to keep track of their work and present their results to colleagues.
- They create smaller working groups to tackle various aspects of the problem.
- They review their work as they continue their investigation adjusting their assignemnts to reflect what they are learning.
- They put ther results together and share what they have learned.
Defining the Problem
Scientists begin by clearly defining the problem, gathering background information and developing a work plan. What did the I.B. Pleased want you to do? You need to brainstorm the different challenges presented in the letter and develop an action plan for your research. What do you know, and what do you need learn about topics such as energy audits, energy sources, energy consumption, energy conservation? What renewable energy source are you most interested in learning about? What experiments might you do to gain a better understanding of that energy source? Think about how the information you learn will help you develop your presentation. You can use webs, charts, tables and journals. Show your work plan to your teacher for suggestions/guidance.
You may want to look at the letter again.
Take this pre-assessment to test your knowledge of some energy facts.
The Student Tool Kit contains links to background information and worksheets and other project resources.
Using Investigation Tools
Once scientists have defined the problem and reviewed the background information, they begin their research. As they develop a hypothesis, they conduct research to support or refute the hypothesis. On-line resources contain a wealth of useful information and data. You will probably want to conduct some experiments to learn more about the energy source your group is investigating.
Check out the energy audit sheet.
The lab planning worksheets help you design experiments you plan to do.
Scientists publish and share their work with other scientists to have their results validated. Scientists also use conferences and symposiums to learn from each other and further their own research. Remember, your expert team needs to make a convincing presentation at our symposium.
Your presentation should provide the following information:
- What research question did your team address?
- What resources did you use?
- What data did you collect and how?
- What conclusions did you reach?
Your presentation should be:
- Use graphs/charts/maps
- Technology based
- CAUTION: make sure you check with your teacher to see if there are any additions/changes to this list!
Authors: Sue Emmons, Powell Midddle School, Littleton, CO; Kevin Lindauer, Baker Middle School, Denver, CO; Janet Stellema, Monarch K-8, Louisville, CO; John Sepich, Scott Carpenter Middle School, Westminster, CO; Edited by Marge Bardeen NTEP II Project PI.
Created: September 9, 1998 revised July 30, 2001