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Watt's Up with the Electricity Bill?

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Keywords: pamphlet making, digital photos
Subject(s): Science, English/Language Arts, Math, Physics
Grades 7 through 8
Original Author: Nancy Goss, Orange
Watt's Up with the Electricity Bill?

This electricity project is designed to teach students about home electricity usage and conservation. Science teachers will introduce the concepts of current and wattage. All eighth grade students (210 students) and their math and science teachers (2 math and 2 science) will be involved in a study of how much electricity is used in each student's respective home and the actual cost for the electricity. Students will present their information in a professionally looking with brochure with photos using Microsoft Publisher.

Students will take digital photos of their house and the major appliances in the their homes. Students will first list all the appliances in each of the rooms in their homes. They will then find the wattage of each of those appliances by looking on the appliance itself. If the wattages are not given, students can calculate the wattage using the amps (watts = voltage x amperes), or they can search for the wattage using the internet. Finally, they will calculate the cost of operating that appliance for an hour using a recent electricity bill.

Next, using Microsoft Excel, they will classify the appliances into 6 categories (heating/cooling, lighting, entertainment, small appliance, large appliances, and luxuries) and create a pie chart for electrical use.

Finally, using the above pie chart, students will create a realistic conservation plan for their home focusing on the areas that tend to use a great deal of electricity.

In addition to learning about the concepts in electricity covered in science class, students will learn how to use a digital camera, how to save an image, and how to insert an image into a document. Students will learn how to use a scanner, how to save a scanned image, and how to insert a saved scanned image into a document. These skills will make their pamphlets look professional.

Materials: Flash/USB Drives, Point and Shoot, Word Processor
Other Items: 1 HP Business Inkjet 1200 Printer series, $199.99 each, total of $199.99
1 HP Scanjet 4670 see-thru vertical scanner (Q3122A), $199.99 each, total of $199.99
3 HP Ink cartridge refills, $99.99 each, total of $299.97
Associated File: 5174.kid