Middle School Home Energy Audit


Getting Started

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.

Presenting Results

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:

Your presentation should be:

Created for the Fermilab LInC program sponsored by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory Education Office and Friends of Fermilab, and funded by United States Department of Energy, Illinois State Board of Education, North Central Regional Technology in Education Consortium which is operated by North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL), and the National Science Foundation.

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.
Webmaster: ed-webmaster@fnal.gov
Created: September 9, 1998 revised July 30, 2001
URL: http://www-ed.fnal.gov/ntep/f8/projects/nrel/student/invest.shtml