4th Grade Science Technology Engineering & Math (STEM) Energy Audit
On Thursday, November 29, 2018, twelve 4th grade junior scientists participated in an Energy Audit of the Elementary School Building. Caryn Turrel from the Energizing Student Potential (ESP) program brought blue backpacks full of tools and trained students on how to use the gizmos and gadgets to measure temperature, humidity, light and electrical information in a room. She introduced two words that they would be focused on for the audit “efficiency” and “conservation”.
Mrs. Turrel started off by asking students, "How many of you used energy today while you were getting ready for school?"
Student Energy Audit Forms were distributed for students to fill out during the course of the audit.
Mrs. Turrel showed students how to use their finger to see which way the wind was blowing.
The temperature gauges were very sensitive. Student's had to be careful not to hold them too long.
Humidity readers measure the water in the air. Mrs. Turrel said the optimal humidity for a room should be 25% humidity.
Light Meters measure light and it makes a difference how close you are standing to them.
Armed with the tools of the scientific trade, the first audit was conducted in the cafeteria which has interior walls and no windows. Students split out into groups of four and recorded their findings on the Student Energy Audit Form.
They soon grabbed their backpacks, forms and clipboards and headed to the boiler room.
The boiler room was a mysterious place in a sub-level area of the building. A giant furnace crowded the small dimly lit room. The temperature was very warm and pipes with gauges went in all different directions. It was interesting to learn how the furnace creates heat and delivers it to the building. Mrs. Turrel was very knowledgeable about the mechanics of the furnace and the room in which it was housed.
The Pecatonica CUSD #321 Curriculum Director, Heather Baker, lead the junior scientist group and facilitated the Energy Audit.
Next they traveled to the computer lab where there are many computer units and monitors. The junior scientists went about the business of testing computers and monitors using a special reader that plugs into the outlet and then reads the voltage, amps outputs when a unit or monitor is plugged into it. Electricity was recorded when the units were on, off and in standby mode. Mrs. Turrel helped them figured out how much money could be saved if the machines were turned off on evenings and weekends. They also observed that one of the lights in the light fixtures in this room was removed for energy conservation.
The audit finished up in the Elementary school office where there was a variety of machines and equipment that could be tested.
Hopefully this energy audit will guide these junior scientists to become more efficient and set a good example for conserving energy.