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Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

2015, High School Technology/Engineering

Download PDF Document  Question 11: Open-Response  
The drawing below shows a passive solar design for a house in Massachusetts.
The drawing shows the cross-section of a house with a roof, overhang, door, windows, and a tile floor. The overhang is where the roof extends beyond the supporting structure. Two suns are in the picture: one sun is above the roof and is labeled Position of Sun in summer; the other sun is to the left of the house and is labeled Position of Sun in winter. There is one straight arrow through the windows labeled Radiation. There are two wavy arrows pointing upward from the tile floor labeled Convection.
  1. Explain why a properly sized overhang is important for this design in terms of energy efficiency in the summer.
  1. Explain why a properly sized overhang is important for this design in terms of energy efficiency in the winter.
  1. Which direction should the windows of the house be facing in order to increase energy efficiency during the winter? Explain your answer.

Scoring Guide and Sample Student Work
Select a score point in the table below to view the sample student response.

ScoreDescription
4 The response demonstrates a thorough understanding of how solar angle influences the design of a house. The response clearly explains the importance of the overhang being the correct size for efficiency in summer and in winter, and correctly identifies and clearly explains why south-facing windows are optimal for the design.
4
3 The response demonstrates a general understanding of how solar angle influences the design of a house.
2 The response demonstrates a limited understanding of how solar angle influences the design of a house.
1 The response demonstrates a minimal understanding of how solar angle influences the design of a house.
0 The response is incorrect or contains some correct work that is irrelevant to the skill or concept being measured.

Note: There are 2 sample student responses for Score Point 4.

High School Technology/Engineering

Question 11: Fluid and Thermal Systems
Question 23: Electrical and Communication Systems
Question 33: Engineering Design
Question 44: Fluid and Thermal Systems
Question 45: Construction and Manufacturing

Return to the MCAS 2015 Student Work Directory



Last Updated: April 6, 2015
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