I. Identify Data Sources


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I. Identify Data Sources


Background: Students know when they are empowered with investigations that are real and personal. Rather than just having students calculate their “expected consumption” or rely only on data from bills (which might be unavailable or be limited to monthly/quarterly readings), this module empowers students to identify and collect themselves real data from sources measuring the student's actual consumption! The module ends with students successfully taking their first real reading, setting them up to discover what they actually use (often far different than what was estimated by an online calculator) and to design efficiency improvements that they will implement and analyze.

 

Special note: Options for students who do not have access to a meter because:

  • their home gets water from a well without a meter; 
  • they live in a multi-family apartment or duplex in which the meter is in a locked maintenance room;
  • they are navigating homelessness or home instability of some kind    

Option (1): Track the type of Meter They do Have access to (electricity and/or Gas are usually Accessible for all students). 

Electricity and/or gas meters are usually accessible for all students (located in a visible place on the outside of the building) and often are metered for individual units within a multi-family building.  

STEMhero is most interesting when students track multiple types of meters at the same time. However, students can fully participate even if they only have access to one or two types of meters. 

Option (2): Track the school's meter(s)

Elevate students without access to meters at home to be the owners of tracking the school's consumption.

  • Tip: Let the facility director know that only a pair of students will need supervised access to take a quick picture of the school's water meter (not forever, but just during the few weeks of the unit)
  • Tip: If student access to schools meters is absolutely not possible, partner with the facility person to have them snap a photo of the meter once a day and email it to you. 

Option (3): Read the teachers meter(s)

Share with students photos of your home meters and let the students read them as if they were their own. Students will LOVE to examine their teacher's consumption!

Option (4): Track meters where they are staying or where they work/intern/volunteer

In the past students have tracked meters at the restaurants where they work, at the Boys and Girls Clubs where they go after school, and could even track meters at a shelter, motel, or at a friend's house (with permission, of course).  

Option (5): Read virtual meters

We've built a set of virtual meters that act like a "typical" single family home water meter. Students can be given one page each week to take readings from the images. 

Mission E guide (Locate)


Mission E guide (Locate)



Misson E: Locate and Document your Meter(S)

Support Resources:

Mission F Guide (Log In)


Mission F Guide (Log In)


Mission (F): Log In And Accurately Record A Reading

Click the image to tour STEMhero's full functionality

Click the image to tour STEMhero's full functionality

Help students remember to take a meter reading! Meter reading text message reminders (powered by Remind.com).  The following reminder times are also available, simply text: "@5pmtext", "@7am­text” , “@4pm­text”, “@6pm­text”, “@8pm­text” to 81010 

Support Resource: Parts Quiz


Support Resource: Parts Quiz


Support Resource: Meter Parts quiz

Resources Quick Links:

Support Resource: Interactive Tutorial


Support Resource: Interactive Tutorial


Support Resource: Interactive Meter Reading Tutorial

Background: We love meter reading because students can learn to master it, but because it is not immediately intuitive it also stretches students to practice attention to detail, teamwork, and ultimately a bit of growth mindset ("that doesn't seem like the right reading, let me try it a different way"). We've built in lots of supports to ensure student success, but because this is not a canned activity we truly are empowering our students to figure out what their meter is telling them about consumption at their home -- something only they can help figure out.   

**Best practices: 

  1. Focus on having students learn to read THEIR meter -- not every type of meter. For example, a student not gathering data from a gas meter may not need to learn how to read one, and likewise, a student reading a gallons water meter, may not need to learn to read a water meter that reads in cubic feet.
  2. A photograph or drawing of a student's own meter will be very helpful.
  3. Split students into groups so that students learning to read the same type of meter can help each other (often students from the same area will have similar styles of meters).
  4. Use the Verify your Meter Reading mission if there is every any doubt.  

Resources Quick Links: