How do I make the house more energy efficient?
I have been hired by the family living in my house to research and tell them about three different ways to make the house they are living in more energy efficient. I must consider the costs of all the options I find for my family, as well as positives and negatives of those things.
I thought about it a lot, and researched as well. I found that right now the things that are the best for the environment are the most expensive, so I tried to pick the reasonably priced ones, as well as a couple bigger, more costly ones. Here are some of the points I brainstormed that would make their house more energy efficient:
- Changing all light bulbs to LED ones. PROS: Older light bulbs make you use more energy than you need to, end up saving money over time- last up to 12 times longer than incandescent CONS:Costs more at the start
- Look for and buy more energy saving appliances PROS: Use less energy, Costs less as time goes by CONS: Costs more at first
- Solar Panels. PROS: Installed on rooftop, helps produce your own electricity, pays for itself over long amount of time, will save a lot of energy CONS: Very expensive.
- Putting insulation in walls and the attic -> Helps keep cooling and heating in, and decreases the costs of those things over time.
- Double hung windows- To keep the heat in the house PROS: Saves money, Less heat escapes, also good for summer when you have air conditioning on.
Motion censors in hallways and room so that lights only turn on when you really need them to instead of staying on when they’re not necessary./ Automatic lights that turn off when you leave the room.
Get them an app that tells them how much electricity they are using, so they know what to put down on, change, or use less than they currently are.
Turning rain into energy is my main dream idea. It is definitely the craziest idea out of all of them, but with the direction and speed our technology is growing at I’m sure we could definitely get there sooner rather than later. This would be great way to be more energy efficient because of how much it rains here. If we could find a way to turn rain drops into energy to power our homes, it would save lots of money, and we’d all be saving more energy.
One of the strategies I’m telling the family about is changing all their lightbulbs to LED ones. Not only do these newer lightbulbs last up to 12 times longer than the old, but they also save a big amount of energy. The only concern the family might have is the price. They cost about $10 for a pack of 4, which could be a lot depending on the amount of rooms they have, and how many lights there are in each room. Although, over time the family will end up saving more, just not right away. With better performance, and the prices dropping a little bit, LED lights can easily replace incandescent light bulbs. The family and I would look over the different brightnesses and colours for their chosen rooms. These lightbulbs consume a lot less electricity, are much cooler also making them safer because you won’t burn your fingers, less likely to break, and also last longer, making them the perfect thing for this family.
Another way my family could save more energy is by buying more energy saving appliances such as energy efficient dishwashers, fridges, dryers, stoves, etc. They will be more expensive at first but will eventually pay for themselves, and save a lot of money as time goes by, as they definitely decrease energy costs. They are more environment friendly, and just more convenient in general. They can save you $100 a year in total energy costs. Replacing a 1994 clothes washer with an energy efficient washer will save you as much as $110 a year. A new energy efficient dishwasher will save you about $25 per year on your utility bills. Overall this is a great option to take when trying to make your home more energy efficient.
Another way the family could make their house more energy efficient is by changing the windows they already have to double hung windows. Or if they don’t want to spend a lot of money doing so, they can just make energy saving changes to the windows they already have so that it’s less expensive. Then again if their home has very old and/or inefficient windows it might just be more cost-effective to completely replace the old rather than trying to make them more energy effective. So it really depends. A double hung window is around$100-$200. The new energy efficient windows cost less in the long run through lower heating and cooling costs, because they trap the air in better. Also sometimes, mainly in the summer through lighting costs too. When properly chosen and put in, these windows can help minimize heating. cooling, and lighting costs.
Even though at first the cost may be big for all of these things, it’s worth it in the end because not only do these things pay for themselves and save more money over time, but they also are much better for the environment, and help make our community a better place to live for everyone.
Pictures of my electric house
* Unfinished circuits
1. You have three lights bulbs. All have the same intensity when lit. Explain how you can prove to a classmate that they are connected in series by unscrewing one light bulb. Support your answer
You can prove the lightbulbs are connected in series by unscrewing one because in a series circuit, the electrons flow through all the connected lights in a chain, so when you get rid of one, the others will turn off.
2.You have three light bulbs. All have the same intensity when lit. Explain how you can prove to a classmate that they are connected in parallel by unscrewing one light bulb.
You can prove that the three lights are connected in parallel by unscrewing one light bulb because in a parallel circuit each of the lights are connected separately to the energy source, so when one gets taken away, the others stay on.
3.You have three light bulbs. Two are connected in parallel. This parallel combination is connected in series with the third light bulb. Describe the relative intensity of each bulb. Support your answer.
The two connected in parallel will both be half as bright, as the series light bulb connected to them.
4.In question number three, describe the relative intensities of the two remaining lit bulbs if one of the bulbs in parallel was unscrewed. Support your answer.
The two remaining light bulbs stay in series, and become equally bright.
5. Collaboration Fluency Question
I think my collaboration was pretty good. I did most of the circuit work, so I feel like I have a great understanding of how to build, draw, and label circuits in an efficient, and functional way. I collaborated with my partner because we had to come to a consensus about the styles, colours, and decorations. I had to talk to my partner about what each of us are going to bring in, and when. Also about the different jobs that I divided with her. We realized we were going to need a little extra time, so we planned to come in at lunch sometime in the last week and got some more of it done. My partner and I worked together, to do the circuit drawing, hot gluing, decorating, planning the whole thing and more. I’m definitely a perfectionist, so I like things done a certain way, which is why group projects are a little challenging for me sometimes. Instead of being able to do things right away, I had to check in with my partner, and talk about things first, making sure we both agreed it would be a good idea. I could’ve improved my collaboration by not stressing as much, and talking to my partner more outside of school about the project and how to get it done.
Core Competency reflection:
Periodic Table summary
The periodic table is organized in many different sections and rows.
One way it is arranges is by atomic number. It starts at one and increases horizontally till one hundred-eighteen. The atomic number of an element is its number of protons that the element has. In atoms the number of protons and electrons are the same so it’s a neutral charge. When there are more protons than electrons or the other way around it is no longer called an atom. Its called an ion because its either positively or negatively charged. The ion charges are on the top right of the element.
Its also organized horizontally from smallest to largest atomic mass. Atomic mass is the mass of the atom.
The periodic table is split into three main sections. Metals, Nonmetals, and metalloids.
Metals tend to lose electrons making them positive ions. Nonmetals tend to gain electrons making them negative ions.
Metals are on the left side of the staircase looking line, nonmetals are on the right side, and metalloids, which are a mix of metals and nonmetals, and have similar properties to both are right along the stair case line. Those 3 sections are broken up into families and periods.
A family in the periodic table is a vertical column. The columns are numbered 1-18. It is one of the ways a periodic table is organized. The elements in a family all have similar properties. Like the electrons and valance electrons for example. In families 1,2,3,15,16,17, and 18 elements in the same family have the same ion charge. For example in family 2, the ion charge is 2+, meaning there are two more protons than electrons, making the ion positive. In family #16 the ion charge is –2, meaning there are two more electrons than protons, making the ion negative. There are 4 important families in the periodic table, that are given special names. The noble gases, Halogens, Alkali metals, and alkaline earth metals. Noble gases are on the far right side of the table, and are very unreactive because they already have a full outer shell. They don’t need to gain or lose electrons like other metals and nonmetals do. Alkaline earth metals are less reactive than alkali metals but will burn in air if heated. They produce bright flames, and are used in fireworks. Halogens are the most reactive nonmetals. They need to gain electrons because they don’t have a full outer shell of valance electrons to start with. They are nonmetals and are beside noble gases on the periodic table. The alkali metals are the most reactive elements out of al the other metals. They react with oxygen and water, have low melting points below 200 degrees Celsius. They are also soft enough to be cut with a knife. They have only one valance electron.
A period is a horizontal row of elements. The elements in a period also have some similarities. The numbers go from 1-7, and the period number also equals the number of valance electrons for the elements in that row.
Valance electrons are the elections on the outer shell of an atom. If the outer shell of valance electrons isn’t full that means the atom wants to with gain or lose electrons to create an outer shell. The electrons will do what makes sense. For example if the atom has only one valance electron it would make the most sense to get rid of it to create a full outer shell, but if it has 7 it would make more sense to gain one electron instead. Metals tend to lose electrons so they become positively charged. Nonmetals tend to gain electrons to become negatively charged. When an atom either gains or loses electrons it is no longer neutral charged so it becomes an ion. The more electrons the atom has to gain or lose the more reactive that element is.
Bohr models picture:
Periodic Table coloured picture:
My element was gold.
This is a link to my video- https://www.powtoon.com/my-powtoons/#/
Questions and answers:
What questions did you need to research in order to create your cube?
To create my cube I had to mainly research basic information about my element, such as: Who discovered my element? How was it discovered? What is its state at room temperature? What is its melting and boiling point? Common uses, interesting characteristics, who named it and more. As well as a couple other questions I was curious about, like for example, why is gold valuable?
What new or familiar digital tools did you try to use as you worked through this project?
I mainly used google as I am more used to it and can use it to the best of my ability. I also looked at a couple youtube videos to get a bit more of an understanding about the element. I did try to use some other sources like the riverside library but since I am more familiar with just using google it was more efficient for me to just use it the most. I did however, pay closer attention to what kind of websites I was getting my information from, and made sure the information was real, instead of just looking at random ones that could’ve been edited by anyone. I also checked variety of sources before putting down the information instead of just one.
What was the process you used to investigate the topic?
I found it very helpful to use Ms Jackson’s note template. First I wrote down all the questions in a notebook, before trying to find the answers. If I found different answers on different websites for the same question, I would just pick the most common one, and the one that seemed the truest to me.
How did you verify and cite the information you found?
I wrote down all the websites and sources I used at the bottom of the post, and on my cube. The way I verified that the information I was getting was true and real, was that I not only checked for who made the site, but I also checked more than one website for each answer to make sure the answers were the same, or similar everywhere.
How did the process of completing this challenge go? What could you have done better?
If I could go back and do it all again, I probably would’ve been more efficient with my time. Or at least plan it out better. I almost tried to do everything at once and got a little unorganized, so I had go back and fix some of it. Other than that I think the process went pretty well. I found a lot of good information and learned a lot about my element. I feel like since I took the time to look more carefully at the websites/sources I was using, all my information is better, and more realistic.
What is a black hole, and how is it formed?
Black holes are formed when big stars fall upon themselves or explode. This is called a supernova. Stars are made up of a lot of matter, so when there’s a supernova the matter from the dead star has no where to go so it comes together to form a black hole. There’s so much matter in a small space that it all packs together and creates a super strong gravitational pull, so that nothing, not even light can escape.
^This picture is showing the process of a supernova, which is a star falling upon itself or exploding. The matter from the star forms a black hole in its place.
^This is a picture of a black hole sucking in a big star.
This video is showing how a black hole is made after a star collapses.