This past Spring, the Planeteer Club at Canutillo Elementary School (near El Paso, TX) and their after-school Boys and Girls Club partners completed all phases of the Planeteer Club Guidebook.
One of the Planeteers’ favorite projects was the “Vampire Energy Search”. For this project, students dress up in Vampire capes – and armed with Leak Detector Guns and Kill-a-Watt EZ Meters – roam the school to investigate ways that energy is being wasted by power sources that are not in use. All of the supplies for this fun activity were provided by funding from ArcelorMittal.
While doing the Vampire Energy Search, the students learned how the temperature of items affects the amount of energy being used. They used the EZ Kill-A-Watt Meter to determine the cost of a fish tank in the science lab and were then able to calculate its energy cost by day, week, month and year.
While investigating, students also realized that the school had lots of ways to let natural sunlight into the classrooms so they could be “lights off” on sunny days. Not only does this conserve energy, natural sunlight has been shown to increase student performance!
Students reported that at home they spoke to their parents about turning off the lights when leaving a room, unplugging appliances that aren’t in use (vampire energy), and one student even noticed an Energy Star label at the laundry mat when he was there with his Mom. Now that is eco-education!