Quick Look
Grade Level: 8 (68)
Time Required: 45 minutes
Expendable Cost/Group: US $0.00
Group Size: 1
Activity Dependency:
Subject Areas: Physical Science, Science and Technology
Summary
Students review the electrical appliances used at home and estimate the energy used for each. The results can help to show the energy hogs that could benefit from conservation or improved efficiency.Engineering Connection
Evaluating energy consumption is the first step engineers take when trying to reduce energy consumption. This step is part of the "understand the problem" and "gather information" steps in the problem solving spiral (and the engineering design process).
Learning Objectives
After this activity, students should be able to:
 Calculate energy use.
 Analyze how changing personal behaviors and appliances choices affects the amount of energy they use.
Educational Standards
Each TeachEngineering lesson or activity is correlated to one or more K12 science,
technology, engineering or math (STEM) educational standards.
All 100,000+ K12 STEM standards covered in TeachEngineering are collected, maintained and packaged by the Achievement Standards Network (ASN),
a project of D2L (www.achievementstandards.org).
In the ASN, standards are hierarchically structured: first by source; e.g., by state; within source by type; e.g., science or mathematics;
within type by subtype, then by grade, etc.
Each TeachEngineering lesson or activity is correlated to one or more K12 science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) educational standards.
All 100,000+ K12 STEM standards covered in TeachEngineering are collected, maintained and packaged by the Achievement Standards Network (ASN), a project of D2L (www.achievementstandards.org).
In the ASN, standards are hierarchically structured: first by source; e.g., by state; within source by type; e.g., science or mathematics; within type by subtype, then by grade, etc.
NGSS: Next Generation Science Standards  Science

Collect data to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence to answer scientific questions or test design solutions under a range of conditions.
(Grades 6  8)
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Energy may take different forms (e.g. energy in fields, thermal energy, energy of motion).
(Grades 6  8)
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Use mathematical representations to describe and/or support scientific conclusions and design solutions.
(Grades 6  8)
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Analyze and interpret data to determine similarities and differences in findings.
(Grades 6  8)
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Common Core State Standards  Math

Model with mathematics.
(Grades
K 
12)
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Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
(Grades
K 
12)
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Fluently divide multidigit numbers using the standard algorithm.
(Grade
6)
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Fluently add, subtract, multiply, and divide multidigit decimals using the standard algorithm for each operation.
(Grade
6)
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International Technology and Engineering Educators Association  Technology

Energy can be used to do work, using many processes.
(Grades
6 
8)
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State Standards
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics  Math

recognize and apply mathematics in contexts outside of mathematics
(Grades
PreK 
12)
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select appropriate methods and tools for computing with fractions and decimals from among mental computation, estimation, calculators, or computers, and paper and pencil, depending on the situation, and apply the selected methods
(Grades
6 
8)
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model and solve contextual problems using various representations, such as graphs, tables, and equations
(Grades
6 
8)
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National Science Education Standards  Science

Mathematics is important in all aspects of scientific inquiry.
(Grades
5 
8)
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Energy is a property of many substances and is associated with heat, light, electricity, mechanical motion, sound, nuclei, and the nature of a chemical. Energy is transferred in many ways.
(Grades
5 
8)
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Electrical circuits provide a means of transferring electrical energy when heat, light, sound, and chemical changes are produced.
(Grades
5 
8)
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New York  Math

Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
(Grades
PreK 
12)
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Model with mathematics.
(Grades
PreK 
12)
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Fluently divide multidigit numbers using the standard algorithm.
(Grade
6)
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Fluently add, subtract, multiply, and divide multidigit decimals using the standard algorithm for each operation.
(Grade
6)
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Do you agree with this alignment?
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Get the inside scoop on all things TeachEngineering such as new site features, curriculum updates, video releases, and more by signing up for our newsletter!Materials List
 Student Worksheet, one per student
 (optional) access to computer and personal energy meter.xls spreadsheet
 calculator
 watt meter (loan to students, as appropriate)
Worksheets and Attachments
Visit [www.teachengineering.org/activities/view/cla_activity2_household_audit] to print or download.More Curriculum Like This
Students complete three different activities to evaluate the energy consumption in a household and explore potential ways to reduce that consumption. The focus is on conservation and energy efficient electrical devices and appliances. The lesson reinforces the relationship between power and energy a...
Students use watt meters to measure the power required and calculate energy used from various electrical devices and household appliances.
Students are introduced to the idea that energy use impacts the environment and our wallets. Through a series of activities, students understand how they use energy and how it is transformed from one type to another.
Introduction/Motivation
(See materials included in watt meter activity. The intro to this activity is scheduled for the same day. Students get started on this as homework and then work on calculations and discussion questions in class the following day.)
Procedure
With the Students
 At the completion of the watt meter activity, hand out the student worksheet and explain the homework portion of the home energy audit to them in class. Explain that they can focus on one room, but they should be thorough in defining all electrical appliances in that room.
 Next day: Make sure that students brought in some information about their electric energy use. Work throughout the class period (on paper or on an Excel spreadsheet) to estimate the daily energy use for each appliance and answer discussion questions.
 Review findings with the class. Any surprises? What consumes the most energy in some households? Least? How important is leaking energy in your house? Any ideas for how they might use this information relative to their unit project?
Assessment
Collect completed worksheet and discussion questions for review.
Other Related Information
This activity was originally published by the Clarkson University K12 Project Based Learning Partnership Program and may be accessed at http://internal.clarkson.edu/highschool/k12/project/energysystems.html.
Copyright
© 2013 by Regents of the University of Colorado; original © 2008 Clarkson UniversityContributors
Jan DeWaters, Susan Powers, and a number of Clarkson and St. Lawrence University students in the K12 Project Based Learning Partnership ProgramSupporting Program
Office of Educational Partnerships, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NYAcknowledgements
This activity was developed under National Science Foundation grant nos. DUE 0428127 and DGE 0338216. However, these contents do not necessarily represent the policies of the National Science Foundation, and you should not assume endorsement by the federal government.
Last modified: May 27, 2022
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