For this assignment, we were assigned a topic and told that we needed to come up with a solution or a few to solve this problem or at least make it better creatively. The topic that we were given was electricity, and we needed to use Solution Fluency to come up with solutions to a question that we would ask ourselves. Here are the steps that my group and I took:
DISCUSS OUR IDEAS –
Our group decided to first decide what our topic would be. e wanted to do something that would be complicated to find one plain answer on Google, and we wanted something that has been looked at by other people, but has not yet been overdone so that we could still come up with something that was purely our ideas and so that we wouldn’t just steal the idea that someone already came up with. Here are some of the questions that we were thinking of doing:
- How can we reduce power outages?
- How can we incorporate solar energy into our city?
- How can we reduce our electric bill?
- How can we create handmade electricity?
- How can we reduce our gas bill?
DEFINE THE CHALLENGE –
Our group has chosen to figure out a solution to this question : How can we reduce our gas bill using a different kind of energy? we chose this question because we think that it is not really a question that we can search up on Google. Of course, it is something that we might have separate questions to it to find a solution, but in order to find at least one solution, our group believes that we need to do some research before we can come up with anything. Our gas bill is also something that we use every day, even if we don’t realize. Perhaps it is our parents that pay for the gas bill at our house, but either way, when we are older we will need to know how to pay our gas bills. But how do we pay our gas bill when it is unbearably high? Since inventors and engineers are coming up with more and more ways to generate electricity more easily, why not incorporate coming up with ways to reduce gas as well?
DISCOVER MORE ABOUT THE TOPIC-
Through research, our group found that inventors and engineers have found an innovative way to reduce the use of gas: electric cars. Electric cars are capable of running purely on electricity, and they don’t use gas. Using gas can also be harmful to the environment, as gas can release dangerous chemicals that mess with the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the air. Also, simply mining for gas can be expensive and harmful to the environment as well. So, how can we reduce the use of gas? Well, thought innovative designers, we should create something that is just as easy to get but is not as harmful as gas. One of the solutions was electricity. So, using the steps of solution fluency, they were able to come up with the solution of putting electric generators into cars and making them run. Through this, they were able to reduce the use of gas.
Another thing that has been invented to reduce the use of gas are electric microwaves and ovens. Usually, microwaves and ovens used gas to run, since gas has a very powerful heat capability, and it wasn’t really hard to make ovens run on gas. However, using the electricity that we are able to generate nowadays, innovators were able to design microwaves and ovens that ran on electricity. The electricity development has improved so much over the past century that we are now able to create things we never thought possible. Our electricity has enough power to heat an oven or microwave just as much as gas. So, this is another thing that we can use to reduce the use of gas.
DREAM AND GENERATE SOLUTIONS –
Our group wanted to take baby steps to generate a solution. Firstly, we did some research about how some communities fix their residents’ gas bills. We found that in Port Coquitlam, there have been some heat reductions rules created so that now the temperatures in classroom will drop about 1 degree.
We came up with two ideas, and in order for each member in our group to understand it, we drew them out. Here is our first idea:
We thought about creating a way to incorporate hydro electricity into our gas usage. Basically, if the house we discussed was an apartment, there would be tubes attached to the roof that led down to a big enclosed bucket. then, from that bucket, there would be little tubes connecting to everyone’s apartment. When it would rain, the water would run down the big tubes, and be collected in the bucket. We figured that we would need something inside the bucket to generate energy from the water. A turbine would need to be installed inside the bucket, and when the water would start filling up in the bucket, the fan should automatically start moving. Then, the energy generated from the water would be sent out everyone that lived in the apartments. The whole installation shouldn’t cost too much, and so if everyone in the building would pitch in, everyone should have enough money to pay for it. Also, what if someone wouldn’t want this installation? Well, then they would not need to pay for it, and they just would not get a tube attached to their apartment. The only other problem was that what would happen if there was no more rain. The energy from gas should still be connected to each apartment, and so when someone would use up all the hydro electricity that they would get, they would automatically switch back to gas. Of course, this means that they would would still have something on their gas bill, but it would not be as big as before.
Here is our second idea:
In this idea, our plan was to generate energy by using compost. Since many people do not compost, this would be a great idea since everybody has compost, and everyone would be able to put it to good use. Basically, what would happen is that the compost would be put into a big burner, and the burnt energy would then be used to power an oven, lamps, and other things that run on gas. The reason we choose this idea is because our first might not have worked because we thought that there might not be rain, and so no energy. However, with this plan, most people have compost every single day, so this energy should last longer. And, with this plan, not everyone would need to have one of these burners. There would be one in every apartment or house, which might cost more than the first plan, but at least the energy would be more efficient. The only problem we had with this plan was that we didn’t know where to find energy for the burner. If we used the energy that the burner generated, there would not be enough for the lights or the oven.
DELIVER A SOLUTION –
Our final plan was to combine both plans together.
This is what would happen:
First, water would be collected from the roof and into a big bucket with a turbine on the bottom. Then, when the water would start filling up, the turbine would move, creating energy. This energy would then be separated into each apartment (or room, if it is a single house), and the energy would be used to power a burner that each apartment would have (or each apartment that would want it). Then, the people in each apartment would place compost into the burner, creating energy that would power lights and ovens. If there was to be no more rain, then the energy would still be brought on from the burner.
We think that this is a great idea, because it truly helps us answer our original question: “How can we reduce our gas bill by using a different source of energy?”. By using this plan, we can come up with a solution.
I think our group did very well on the discussion, because even though we could not decide which plan was the best, we still listened to one another and we listened to the ideas that we might have though were stupid and wild, but yet we still listened and we were able to combine all of our wacky ideas. Another thing that we did well was that we did lots of research before starting anything. If we were to come up with a plan, we first had to research it and see if others have already done it, and if so, then how. We also needed to research lots because we wanted to come up with something that no one else yet has, so that the whole plan would be only our thinking and absolutely no plagiarism. One thing that could have went a bit better was diving a bit deeper for our question. Our very first question was “how can we reduce our gas bill?”, which at first seemed like a very good idea. But after some research, we found that there was so much more that we could have said instead and so we made our question harder to find on Google by diving deeper. Instead of just looking for ways to lower our gas bill, which of course there are plenty, we wanted to find a way to lower our gas bill and use innovative technology to create energy using a different source of power, which we used. Our different source of energy was water and compost.
DEMONSTRATE SOURCES THAT WERE USED –
Here are the sources that my group used to complete the steps of the solution fluency.
All pictures were drawn by the members of the group.
The Canadian Encyclopedia: https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/hydroelectricity
Burning Man : https://burningman.org/event/preparation/leaving-no-trace/composting/
Renewable Energy Hub: https://www.renewableenergyhub.co.uk/rainwater-harvesting-information/how-does-rainwater-recycling-work.html