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