Quick Look
Grade Level: 8 (68)
Time Required: 45 minutes
Expendable Cost/Group: US $5.60
This activity also requires some nonexpendable items; see the Materials List for details.
Group Size: 3
Activity Dependency:
Subject Areas: Data Analysis and Probability, Physical Science, Physics
Summary
Students measure the light output and temperature (as a measure of heat output) for three types of light bulbs to identify why some light bulbs are more efficient (more light with less energy) than others.Engineering Connection
Substituting energyefficient light bulbs is one way to reduce energy consumption. Lighting needs are still provided, but with less energy use. Engineers are developing many new types of light bulbs. CFLs are becoming commonplace, but we can expect new and improved ones soon.
Learning Objectives
After this activity, students should be able to:
 Calculate energy use and analyze how changing their behaviors and appliances impacts the amount of energy they use.
 Conduct an experiment and make comparisons based on experimental evidence.
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
NGSS Performance Expectation  

MSETS13. Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success. (Grades 6  8) Do you agree with this alignment? 

Click to view other curriculum aligned to this Performance Expectation  
This activity focuses on the following Three Dimensional Learning aspects of NGSS:  
Science & Engineering Practices  Disciplinary Core Ideas  Crosscutting Concepts 
Analyze and interpret data to determine similarities and differences in findings. Alignment agreement:  There are systematic processes for evaluating solutions with respect to how well they meet the criteria and constraints of a problem. Alignment agreement: Sometimes parts of different solutions can be combined to create a solution that is better than any of its predecessors.Alignment agreement: Although one design may not perform the best across all tests, identifying the characteristics of the design that performed the best in each test can provide useful information for the redesign process—that is, some of the characteristics may be incorporated into the new design.Alignment agreement: 
Common Core State Standards  Math

Find a percent of a quantity as a rate per 100 (e.g., 30% of a quantity means 30/100 times the quantity); solve problems involving finding the whole, given a part and the percent.
(Grade 6)
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Do you agree with this alignment?

Fluently add, subtract, multiply, and divide multidigit decimals using the standard algorithm for each operation.
(Grade 6)
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Solve multistep reallife and mathematical problems posed with positive and negative rational numbers in any form (whole numbers, fractions, and decimals), using tools strategically. Apply properties of operations to calculate with numbers in any form; convert between forms as appropriate; and assess the reasonableness of answers using mental computation and estimation strategies.
(Grade 7)
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International Technology and Engineering Educators Association  Technology

Social and cultural priorities and values are reflected in technological devices.
(Grades 6  8)
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Energy is the capacity to do work.
(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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work flexibly with fractions, decimals, and percents to solve problems
(Grades
6 
8)
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understand and use ratios and proportions to represent quantitative relationships
(Grades
6 
8)
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use the associative and commutative properties of addition and multiplication and the distributive property of multiplication over addition to simplify computations with integers, fractions, and decimals
(Grades
6 
8)
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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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understand both metric and customary systems of measurement
(Grades
6 
8)
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understand relationships among units and convert from one unit to another within the same system
(Grades
6 
8)
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select and apply techniques and tools to accurately find length, area, volume, and angle measures to appropriate levels of precision
(Grades
6 
8)
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use observations about differences between two or more samples to make conjectures about the populations from which the samples were taken
(Grades
6 
8)
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National Science Education Standards  Science

Develop descriptions, explanations, predictions, and models using evidence. Students should base their explanation on what they observed, and as they develop cognitive skills, they should be able to differentiate explanation from descriptionproviding causes for effects and establishing relationships based on evidence and logical argument. This standard requires a subject matter knowledge base so the students can effectively conduct investigations, because developing explanations establishes connections between the content of science and the contexts within which students develop new knowledge.
(Grades
5 
8)
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Think critically and logically to make the relationships between evidence and explanations. Thinking critically about evidence includes deciding what evidence should be used and accounting for anomalous data. Specifically, students should be able to review data from a simple experiment, summarize the data, and form a logical argument about the causeandeffect relationships in the experiment. Students should begin to state some explanations in terms of the relationship between two or more variables.
(Grades
5 
8)
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Communicate scientific procedures and explanations. With practice, students should become competent at communicating experimental methods, following instructions, describing observations, summarizing the results of other groups, and telling other students about investigations and explanations.
(Grades
5 
8)
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Use mathematics in all aspects of scientific inquiry. Mathematics is essential to asking and answering questions about the natural world. Mathematics can be used to ask questions; to gather, organize, and present data; and to structure convincing explanations.
(Grades
5 
8)
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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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Science influences society through its knowledge and world view. Scientific knowledge and the procedures used by scientists influence the way many individuals in society think about themselves, others, and the environment. The effect of science on society is neither entirely beneficial nor entirely detrimental.
(Grades
5 
8)
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Technology influences society through its products and processes. Technology influences the quality of life and the ways people act and interact. Technological changes are often accompanied by social, political, and economic changes that can be beneficial or detrimental to individuals and to society. Social needs, attitudes, and values influence the direction of technological development.
(Grades
5 
8)
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New York  Math

Find a percent of a quantity as a rate per 100 (e.g., 30% of a quantity means 30/100 times the quantity); solve problems involving finding the whole, given a part and the percent.
(Grade
6)
More Details
Do you agree with this alignment?

Fluently add, subtract, multiply, and divide multidigit decimals using the standard algorithm for each operation.
(Grade
6)
More Details
Do you agree with this alignment?

Solve multistep reallife and mathematical problems posed with positive and negative rational numbers in any form (whole numbers, fractions, and decimals), using tools strategically. Apply properties of operations to calculate with numbers in any form; convert between forms as appropriate; and assess the reasonableness of answers using mental computation and estimation strategies.
(Grade
7)
More Details
Do you agree with this alignment?
New York  Science

Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.
(Grades
6 
8)
More Details
Do you agree with this alignment?
Materials List
Each group needs:
 incandescent light bulb (60 watt) with light socket/plug
 compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL, 13 watt) with light socket/plug
 LED bulb with light socket/plug
 infrared (IR) thermometer (available at Radio Shack or similar stores)
 ruler
 Student Worksheet, one per student
 (optional) watt meter, to confirm power
To share with the entire class:
 light meter
Worksheets and Attachments
Visit [www.teachengineering.org/activities/view/cla_activity3_household_light_bulbs] to print or download.More Curriculum Like This
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Introduction/Motivation
Lighting accounts for 2025% of all the electricity used in the U.S. On average, a household uses 510% of its energy for lighting. A commercial industry, on the other hand, consumes 2030% of its energy in lighting only; 50% or more of the energy used is wasted by obsolete equipment, inadequate maintenance, or inefficient use. Energy savings for lighting will require either reduction in use or more efficient usage.
Recall the differences – conservation = turning off light bulbs, efficiency = using bulbs to produce light with less electricity). Today's activity focuses on efficiency.
Note that new technologies (developed by scientists and engineers!!!) can bring about substantial savings in energy use but still provide us with the benefits of electrical lighting. (Hold up various types of bulbs.) Do these look familiar? (Expect students to be familiar with incandescent and [hopefully] CFLs, but they may not have seen LED [lightemitting diode] bulbs.) LEDs are currently quite expensive, but we should see more of them in stores in the coming years.
Procedure
 Divide the class into groups of three or four students each.
 Hand out the activity sheets and go over the procedure. (5 min)
 Provide the lux reading for each bulb.
 For Part II, it is better to work as a class or in very small groups (12 students). This can be started as they wait for the light bulbs to heat up.
 As a demo or extra station, introduce LED bulbs (lightemitting diode).
 Complete the data collection. Note: it is important that several readings of temperature be taken for each bulb from sides and top as significant variations in the temperature exist around the bulb. Have students choose a representative temperature, the maximum, or take several readings and calculate an average.
 Discuss reasons for increased efficiency – light – the desired energy "product", but also varying amounts of heat generated. . Remind students that in some cases heat is the desired product, such as waming lamps for food, or for incubation. However, light bulbs would ideally produce no heat. Also ask if this is possible? (Answer: No, entropy is always increased, there is no such thing as 100% efficiency)."
 Review conservation and efficiency ideas (perhaps using the classroom board) and spend a minute or two talking about the final project. Tell the class that they will need to define their ideas. Which applications suit the incandescent bulbs better? And which suit the CFL/LED bulbs better? Does it make sense in some instances to want both heat and light produced?
Assessment
Worksheets: Collect and review student worksheet to assess their data collection, calculations and answers to discussion questions.
Safety Issues
 The bulbs can get quite hot, especially the incandescent bulb, so warn students to not touch the bulbs.
 Warn students not to look at the bulbs for too long; they might strain their eyes.
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.
Contributors
Jan DeWaters; Susan Powers; and a number of Clarkson and St. Lawrence University students in the K12 Project Based Learning Partnership ProgramCopyright
© 2013 by Regents of the University of Colorado; original © 2008 Clarkson UniversitySupporting 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: January 3, 2018
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