The Heat Loss Project: A STEM Exploration
Lesson Objective: Determine how thermal energy moves through homes
Grades 6-8 / Science / Engineering

Thought starters

  1. Mr. Perretto says the job of a science teacher is to make the abstract tangible. How does he do this?
  2. How does the use of technology enrich this lesson?
  3. Notice the kinds of reflection questions Mr. Perretto asks. How do they assess student learning?
55 Comments

This is very true how ever we will report julian medina inapporriate behavior but people get harrased everyday and you make thouse discusting "jokes" eww your a discrace and a very mean person I hope you learn from your consiquences.

Recommended (0)
This is a fantastic project. I am a firefighter and I teach fire and life safety education to students in grades K-4. The younger grades I have no issue finding lessons and safety concepts to teach. The older students become more challenging because we've done the traditional lessons. This lesson is a great way to show heat movement in a house fire and why it is essential to have working smoke alarms, home escape plans and closing bedroom doors at night.
Recommended (0)
It was very enjoyable to witness these students being devoted to the project, taking matters into their own hands and drawing intelligent conclusions from the project. Wonderful lesson idea!
Recommended (0)

Transcripts

  • 00:58:30;00
    00:59:30;00
    01:00:00;00

    01:00:21;00

    01:00:38;00

    01:00:55;00

    01:01:03;00

    01:01:28;00

    01:02:05;00

    01:02:38;00

    01:03:03;00

    01:03:31;00

    01:04:04;00

    01:04:32;00

    01:04:59;00

    01:05:26;00

    01:05:49;00

    01:06:22;00

    01:06:47;00

    01:07:26;00

    01:07:55;00

    01:08:17;00

    01:08:52;00

    01:09:30;00

    01:09:58;00

    01:10:25;00

    01:10:50;00

    01:11:20;00

    01:11:51;00

    01:12:26;00

    01:13:13;00

    01:13:20;00

    01:14:16;00

    01:14:40;00

    01:15:27;00

    01:16:00;00

    01:16:30;00

    01:17:07;00

    01:17:39;00

    01:17:59;00

    01:18:36;00

    01:19:03;00

    01:19:32;00

    01:19:48;00

    01:20:14;00

    01:20:28;00

    01:21:04;00

    01:21:34;00

    01:21:59;00

    01:22:32;00

    01:23:02;00

    01:23:31;00

    01:24:02;00

    01:24:37;00

    01:25:02;00

    01:25:32;00

    01:26:02;00

    01:26:52;00 STEM LESSON IDEAS
    THE HEAT LOSS PROJECT

    BARS AND TONE
    TITLE
    VOICEOVER:
    This teaching moment is made possible

    00:58:30;00
    00:59:30;00
    01:00:00;00

    01:00:21;00

    01:00:38;00

    01:00:55;00

    01:01:03;00

    01:01:28;00

    01:02:05;00

    01:02:38;00

    01:03:03;00

    01:03:31;00

    01:04:04;00

    01:04:32;00

    01:04:59;00

    01:05:26;00

    01:05:49;00

    01:06:22;00

    01:06:47;00

    01:07:26;00

    01:07:55;00

    01:08:17;00

    01:08:52;00

    01:09:30;00

    01:09:58;00

    01:10:25;00

    01:10:50;00

    01:11:20;00

    01:11:51;00

    01:12:26;00

    01:13:13;00

    01:13:20;00

    01:14:16;00

    01:14:40;00

    01:15:27;00

    01:16:00;00

    01:16:30;00

    01:17:07;00

    01:17:39;00

    01:17:59;00

    01:18:36;00

    01:19:03;00

    01:19:32;00

    01:19:48;00

    01:20:14;00

    01:20:28;00

    01:21:04;00

    01:21:34;00

    01:21:59;00

    01:22:32;00

    01:23:02;00

    01:23:31;00

    01:24:02;00

    01:24:37;00

    01:25:02;00

    01:25:32;00

    01:26:02;00

    01:26:52;00 STEM LESSON IDEAS
    THE HEAT LOSS PROJECT

    BARS AND TONE
    TITLE
    VOICEOVER:
    This teaching moment is made possible by Chase.

    LAWRENCE PERRETTO (interview):
    This is a project-based learning activity which uses and engineering challenge and a construction project combined with iPad technology to demonstrate how energy moves through residential homes in a unit that studies energy conservation.

    PERRETTO:
    And make sure that the image fits in the screen.

    PERRETTO (interview):
    Energy transfer is a difficult concept. It’s a very abstract line of thinking and so we’re trying to provide a line of thinking for students where they can see how heat energy or thermal energy moves. We put it in the concept of a residential home so it becomes relevant to their life experience.

    STUDENT:
    One place we need to plug-up is right here.

    PERRETTO:
    You’ve been working for three straight days now on the project building your models and we’re reaching the critical part now, which is the testing. Alright? We’re gonna be testing data now to see how the model can be used. In this case, to track thermal energy. But we need to pause for just a couple minutes and reflect back on why we’re doing this.

    PERRETTO (interview):
    The integration of STEM in this activity begins with the science. The concept of heat transfer.

    PERRETTO:
    We talked about how the potential energy in fossil fuels can be converted into heat energy and electrical energy. This is the most useful form of energy to use that we’ve found so far.

    PERRETTO (interview):
    We make that tangible by immediately beginning challenge which is to design and build this model home which you will then use as an engineer does to test this system.

    PERRETTO:
    Here’s your objective for the day, you’re going to- you’re at a point now where you can actually take and examine the thermal images and you’re going to be identifying areas of great heat loss by using the contrasting the colors in the iPad thermal imaging camera.

    PERRETTO (interview):
    The engineering comes more tangible now as they use the technology which is the iPad and the digital thermometers to collect data.

    PERRETTO:
    You do not want to get the temperature inside the structure. You want to measure heat that’s moving out of the structure. So hold the probe on the outside of the windows and doors. Record the temperatures at a solid wall that doesn’t have any openings in it. Okay? Any window or door? Alright? Any corner? Okay, where two walls meet. Along a roofline. Those are the locations where we see the greatest amount of heat loss in homes and even schools. It happens everywhere guys.

    PERRETTO (interview):
    And so they are taking that step to become bona fide engineers and testing their models to accumulate data that they can analyze and then solve the problem which is, “how do we make the home more energy efficient”?

    PERRETTO:
    Let’s do it. Be careful. Hand them carefully please.

    PERRETTO (interview):
    Whenever we build models in middle school we have to keep it as simple as possible so we start with balsa sticks which students use to make their frame. And they just cover it with simple oak tag paper. You can use construction paper as well. Very simple. Very easy to use. Uh, hot glue guns which we can borrow from the art department if you don’t have them. Very simple thing. Very inexpensive as well. And that’s really all students need to build a model that they can test. In order for students to test their model, they need to have a source of light.

    PERRETTO (interview):
    And so we just use simple little shop lights that have clamps on them and we just invert them and point them upward between the two tables. We create our own little light table and students set their model over it when its ready and it is illuminated from within. And the heat moves and light moves out of the structure and now they have a fixed scenario to run their thermal testing.

    STUDENT:
    Yeah so you can see the heat coming out of this.

    PERRETTO (interview):
    Students are instructed to take a series of photographs, different angles of the structure, the corners of the building, the roof of the building, the windows and doors, that show in contrasting colors how heat moves through and, in this case, out of a residential home. As they’re examining their thermal images, they’re looking for red, areas of red color. And they’re going to be very obvious in open windows and doors.

    PERRETTO (interview):
    But we want the students to actually focus on the not so obvious places, the corners of buildings, where the wall meets the roof, the peaks of roof, what we call the roofline. Here are places where poor construction really leads to a tremendous amount of energy loss in residential homes and buildings.

    STUDENT:
    So for this-

    STUDENT 2:
    It’s there.

    STUDENT:
    We definitely have to fix this top and then we have to make the sides a little more stable and the windows.

    PERRETTO (interview):
    It’s not a true thermal imaging camera. It’s actually a light imaging camera with different wavelengths of light but it serves our purpose in demonstrating that, uh, a closed wall in a structure will appear as a different color because light is not penetrating whereas an open door or window the light will appear differently because it’s moving through that opening and the movement of that light, which simulates heat through that opening that makes the movement of heat energy tangible for students.

    STUDENT:
    Well, where it’s blue is where the least heat is escaping but the green shows where very little heat is escaping and that’s good because then it’s saving energy. When it’s red, like in a window, it’s showing that, like, tons of heat is escaping there. And that, like, it’s wasting, like energy and money.

    PERRETTO:
    Four or five more minutes!

    STUDENT:
    One hundred and thirteen.

    PERRETTO (interview):
    It’s important in science for students to understand that you cannot rely on one set of data for anything. You need to have multiple sets of data. And so by having students use temperature probes to measure the temperature at various places of the structure and then comparing it with the thermal images, they’re looking to make connections and seeing patterns between color in the structure and the increased temperature as the energy moves through.

    STUDENT:
    This one is a hundred four point nine.

    STUDENT 2:
    Wow. Is that the front window?

    STUDENT:
    Uh, yeah.

    STUDENT 2:
    So there.

    STUDENT 3:
    It’s ninety. That’s insane.

    STUDENT 4:
    It’s gonna be about ninety degrees so you can write ninety degrees there. And then in a corner, so I guess right here… that’s also gonna be a lot of heat letting out because it’s not very well made.

    PERRETTO (interview):
    I purposely left the instructions vague for the construction part of the process and of design. Just some simple parameters on maximum height and maximum size so it can fit on the light table. I did this because I wanted them not to do a very good job in construction. I wanted the corners to be out of square. I wanted the roofs to be crooked and I wanted them to be able to see that as a result of the poor construction, heat energy is lost in tremendous amounts.

    PERRETTO (interview):
    Now their job is to make the home more energy efficient.

    STUDENT:
    I think it’s also coming from there so put one over there.

    STUDENT 2:
    Just a little one in the corner.

    STUDENT:
    Yea. Do you want to add the hot glue?

    PERRETTO (interview):
    They will learn about how to use insulation and they will use cotton that simulates insulation and they will hot glue it into the corners and they will push it into the roof lines. They will fill in the spaces between corners where heat energy is escaping and more importantly they will use paper, cut it out and close windows and doors.

    STUDENT:
    So should we bunch them together?

    STUDENT 2:
    Just try and get all those gaps. We don’t want any to escape. So this house could be very efficient.

    PERRETTO (interview):
    And then they will do a second round of thermal images and then they will compare the after images to the before images and they’re looking for changes in contrasting colors. So the areas that were obviously showing red where heat energy was escaping will now appear differently and we want them to notice that difference. And to make connections and explain why it’s different and what does that mean?

    STUDENT:
    See it turned more green so that’s how you know… and the blue so it got …

    STUDENT 2:
    Yeah this is all our cotton balls.

    STUDENT:
    We still need to perfect on the bottom and the top.

    PERRETTO (interview):
    And really the key is for them to connect the idea that the reason that the colors are different is because heat is not moving through those closed doors anymore and that really gets us back to the science of heat transfer.

    STUDENT:
    See. There’s less heat coming out compared to the last picture. The heat is flowing out but when we cover it up, the heats insulated and we don’t waste money and pollute the environment.

    PERRETTO (interview):
    One of the great things as a teacher is when you see students take matters into their own hands. And what you saw there in a couple instances is where students had the idea, “Why don’t we try some different materials? We have cotton. We have paper but what if we used just regular scotch tape?”

    STUDENT:
    Tape seems more like you can see through it and…

    STUDENT 2:
    The plastic could have some extra insulating properties rather than the paper.

    PERRETTO (interview):
    They said, “Mr. PERRETTO, the scotch tape is like the glass in a window, why don’t we try it?” I said, “Okay, go for it”. So they took it upon themselves to try that and they came up with some interesting data.

    STUDENT:
    We did tape. We did cotton and we did paper. And then we just used normal space and we took, we recorded our data and the tape actually works the most effective and then the open windows obviously and then the second best was cotton and then go into the paper and then the open windows obviously the worst.

    PERRETTO (interview):
    It’s really about discovery. Students in science need to learn how to discover science on their own. And what I found in my experience is the project-based learning approach STEM format really provides the best environment for this type of discovery learning to occur.

    PERRETTO:
    Guys, listen up, may I have your attention please? Alright. Unfortunately, we have to start cleaning up because our time today is finished but as you are cleaning up and I can see some of you have already begun to clean up –good job- on your data sheet at the bottom are your constructed responses. These are really just- That’s another way of saying reflection question. The thing I want you to think about here now and respond to is, “What does thermal imaging and the temperature data suggest about how heat energy moves?” Samantha?

    SAMANTHA:
    Well it moves out of cracks and openings and sometimes we don’t even realize it and a lot of its being wasted and it moves, I guess, pretty quickly throughout these openings.

    STUDENT:
    If the house is poorly constructed or the windows and doors are open, the curr- the furnace will just keep burning and its not keeping the house warm and its not benefiting anyone. It’s just adding more pollution into the air.

    PERRETTO:
    Explain two ways energy efficiency benefits you and your parents. Josh?

    JOSH:
    Um, one way that energy conservation me and my parents is that when you save the energy, you don’t pay as much because you don’t need as- you don’t need as much to heat your homes.

    PERRETTO:
    Now what’s one way it helps the environment. This is the big picture here. How are we helping the environment by doing this? Gabe.

    GABE:
    Well, we’re helping out the environment because to buy the heat we need to burn oil and if we buy less heat, we burn less oil therefore having the environment be better because we don’t burn as much oil.

    PERRETTO (interview):
    Science is tough because it’s abstract and it’s very conceptual. Brining the abstract and conceptual into a tangible format is really the goal of a science teacher and that is my focus as much as I can is to get them involved in the projects from which the science just sort of blossoms.

    PERRETTO:
    Alright so please turn off your light stations. The hot glue guns can stay plugged in. Clean up your cotton, your insulation, your tools get returned to the material station. Check the floor for scraps. Let’s make this place neat. Great job. I’m very proud of you. Nice work.

    VOICEOVER:
    This teaching moment is made possible by Chase.

    END OF HEAT LOSS – PAGE 18

School Details

Hommocks School
10 Hommocks Road
Larchmont NY 10538
Population: 1206

Data Provided By:

greatschools

Teachers

Lawrence Perretto

Newest

TCH Special

Grades 6-12, All Subjects, Civic Engagement

TCH Special

Grades 6-12, All Subjects, Civic Engagement

TCH Special

Grades 6-12, All Subjects, Civic Engagement

Teaching Practice

All Grades / All Subjects / Collaboration

TCHERS' VOICE

Social Justice & Equity

TCHERS' VOICE

Professional Learning

TCHERS' VOICE

Professional Learning