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|Project Title: ||Watts Up Meters?|
|School Year: ||2007|
|School - District:||McCall Middle - Winchester|
|Contact Name:||Lanie Higgins|
|Contact Phone:||(781) 721-7026|
|Content-Area(s):||Science & Technology|
|Community Need:||Community Development, (education)|
|Brief Description of SL Project: |
With increasing energy expenses and environmental concerns, three sixth grade science teachers and 306 students researched and discussed how they could effect energy conservation. Student participants decided it would be most useful to narrow their field of data collection into three areas. One team of student scientists were designated to test private homes, while another tested Winchester’s McCall Middle School, and a third group of students went to visit Winchester public buildings. In all three areas- private homes, McCall Middle School, and public buildings, students tested for vampire energy, a type of energy used by things that consume electricity twenty-four hours a day, even when they are turned off or not being used, and appliances actually being used to collect data. After the collection of data, students created a lab demonstrating what what they had learned. An energy newsletter was created and shared with the entire McCall community.
|The Community Need the Project is Meeting:|
Rising energy costs and environmental concerns of global warming have sparked concern among Winchester residents. As a result, students addressed energy conservation for cost and environmental concerns. Students identified the three major areas where energy conservation could occur: in the community, private homes, schools, and public buildings. The students researched energy conservation, discussed the issue with McCall faculty and administration, and developed an action plan, using the scientific method, which could then be delivered to the community with possible action steps to address energy conservation.
|Service Component: |
Students provided awareness to their learning community about the use of vampire energy and the use of energy when the appliance is on. Students served approximately 20- 30 hours of service depending upon their level of involvement in the creation and distribution of the newsletter. A thousand families were contacted about the data collected using WattsUp meters and how to conserve energy. The community impact is an ongoing process. The information now needs to be shared with the town manager and, perhaps, newspaper in the fall 2007.
|Connections with Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks: |
Designing an Investigation- Identify or state questions that can be answered through investigation; Use experience, knowledge, observations, and evidence to frame and develop researchable hypotheses; Design a scientific investigation, specifying variables to be controlled, varied, and measured; Analyze and evaluate alternative procedures and solutions; Identify and explain various possible designs for investigating a scientific or technological problem.
Data Collections, Measurement, and Display- Identify, describe, and evaluate the use of appropriate measurement tools; Represent data in appropriate models, tables, and graphs.
Analysis and Interpretation of Data- Identify and evaluate patterns and trends in data; Draw conclusions based on data or evidence presented in tables or graphs; Based on research findings, identify alternative hypotheses or explanations of relationships among variables.
|How Youth Voice Helps Shape Project:|
Youth voice prevailed and shaped this service-learning project. The students decided where to collect data from and assigned each team a location, students were able to create lists of appliances to collect data from at each site, and student participants were able to create teams of four to gather data. Lastly, students created a newsletter format, and decided upon the final content information to include. Student learning is enhanced when youth voice is involved in service-learning project planning, design, and implementation. Greater learning opportunities prevail when students are given ownership of their project.
|Student Reflection Component: |
Students were shocked at the amount of energy used by vampire energy. They were able to reflect upon their findings in the conclusion of their labs and in the newsletter. In order for students to learn from their service experience, program leaders must provide structured opportunities for students to reflect critically on their service experience. Other reflective opportunities in this service-learning could include: individual or team journaling, student led discussions on group data findings, and student/teacher round table discussions with community stakeholders.
|Community Partners Involved: |
Community partners were the private homes we tested, the McCall Staff, the town manager and employees of the town hall, library, and fire department. The partners were available whenever we needed their assistance.
|Demonstration/Celebration of Students' Work: |
Service-learning aims to empower youth to actively engage in their community, provide meaningful service, and have fun while learning age-appropriate academic standards. When student participant learn new skills, engage in risk taking, take on new responsibilities, and offer their services to others in the community, it is vital to recognize and celebrate their efforts as it also reflects upon student work.
|Evaluation of Project's Impact:|
Evaluation allows service-learning particpants and community partners to reflect on the work that has been accomplished and determine whether or not the service provided was successful. Evaluating the impact on the community allows project particpants to redesign or adjust their planning to fit the community need. Without evaluation, it is unclear whether or not a service-leanring project "did what it intended to do."
|Challenges/Solutions Identified by District:|
A major challenge was the lack of environmental concerns included in the Frameworks. Also, there was a lack of understanding at first to implement the coordination and cooperation of the town manager to incorporate a new educational approach to energy conservation. Once, everyone was aboard, it went smoothly. The meters are now outdated. The new meters are able to be set next to the appliance to gather data, which makes it easier to collect and more appliances would be accessible.
* NOTE: This project summary was written by the district/community. Any text in italics was added or modified by the Department (ESE). Most of these projects were supported with Learn & Serve America funds distributed through the ESE.