Maine students as citizen scientists studying electrical energy use.

Submitted by Lynn Farrin

2011-03-24 14:27:08

7th and 8th grade students from across Maine are taking part in a citizen-science project to examine electrical energy use and reduce consumption at home. This exciting project, administered by the Department of Education and funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, is led by the Augusta School Department in partnership with the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance (MMSA) and the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI). Students collect, analyze, and share real‐time electricity data gathered from home energy monitors that allow homeowners to see electricity usage in real‐time and/or “smart” utility meters (meters that provide real‐time data). Using data from these and other tools such as Kill A Watt meters, students design and carry out investigations and use their findings to make recommendations, based on evidence, for reducing consumption to homeowners.
The PowerSleuth Meets PowerMeter expands the suite of PowerSleuth energy curriculum units funded by Efficiency Maine and developed by the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance.

PowerSleuth Meets PowerMeter is specifically aimed at supplementing the “Energy for Maine” unit which includes lesson on forms of energy, transfer and transformation of energy, generation of electrical power, measurement of energy use with Kill A Watt meters, and examination of the electrical energy consumption of Maine’s residences. All lessons are aligned with Maine’s Learning Results: Parameters for Essential Instruction and national science standards and are available to teachers across Maine at no cost.
PowerSleuth Meets PowerMeter incorporates these new electrical monitoring tools and “smart metering” technology with key PowerSleuth lessons. As with PowerSleuth, Maine Energy Education Program (MEEP) and Maine Public Service (MPS) representatives will provide technical assistance to teachers to ensure smooth implementation.
Teachers participating in the program (spring 2011) are: Lindsay Bolduc and Lori Stevens, Warsaw Middle School (Pittsfield); Jim Chandler, Auburn Land Lab; Jesse DePue, Michael Evans, and Tracy Vassiliev, James F. Doughty School (Bangor); Joelle Drake and Joan Savage, Cony (Augusta); Erika DuPont and Kellie Ouellette, Jordan Small Middle School (Raymond); Margaret (Molly) Duren, Messalonskee Middle School (Oakland); Lauree Gott, Veazie Community School; Rachel Thompson, Island Institute.
Fall 2010 field test teachers include: Guy Meader, Cony (Augusta); Danielle Ringdahl, St. Michael (Augusta); Dawn Pray, Katahdin Middle School; Mary Olsen, Jefferson Village School; Bonnie Burne, Pemetic Elementary (Southwest Harbor); Scott Davis, Messalonskee Middle (Oakland); Douglas Maker, Lake Region Middle (Naples); and Mary Theberge and Stephen Spaeths, Mt. Ararat Middle (Topsham).
Interested in getting your class involved? Watch for announcements on the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance website and on the Maine Science List Serv or contact Lynn Farrin [see email image] for more information.

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