Use the following Cross-curricular topics and relevant organizing concepts to help you select concepts you would like your students
to learn about, research and take action on during the unit. Use technology, inquiry methods, and nonfiction resources to rigorously
explore or extend your unit focusing on STEM college and career readiness, math concepts, human impacts on scarcity issues, the
water/energy nexus, the interdependence of science, engineering and technology, resource consumption cause and effects, and
geography’s social impact.
Idea: Market and sell efficiency products and services that students produce.
● Example: Decorated rain barrels, efficiency audits, then track the businesses’ utility consumption to demonstrate the savings created by the efficiency technology or behavior change.
● Example: Have students offer to conduct basic energy or water audits in their community.
○ Units and measurement
○ Determining best type of graph / table based on the data and research question
○ Plotting data / XY coordinates
○ Identifying trends
○ Plotting a fitted line
○ Rates vs. ratio
○ Linear vs nonlinear functions
○ Linear growth and decline
○ Exponential growth and decline
○ Derive the equation of a line (slope)
○ Projections: Average kWh per day → projected consumption per year
■ eg. Hundreds of Cubic Feet per/ quarter → Cost $ per day
■ eg. Volume of water used to volume equivalent, such as elephants or school busses
■ eg. Kilowatt/hours or gallons of water to carbon footprint
○ Modeling functions
○ Polynomial functions
○ Relationships between variables: Accurately defining the quantitative effect of an independent variable inverse, correlation, causation.
■ E.g. Natural gas usage vs. temperature; water use vs. price
○ Missing variable equations:
■ Example: “13 days into the month 12,000 gallons have been used, if there are 17 days left and you want to use under 30000 gallons what will your average usage per day need to be?”
■ Example: Establish the relationship between outdoor temperature and electricity usage (if heating is electric). Predict next week’s electricity consumption given the forecast.
Use utility consumption data as the basis for having students take a position on a story problem and defend it using an analysis of the data.
■ Example: Track and plot utility usage, then determine line of best fit. Explain the trend in written form incorporating data and qualitative evidence such as a log of home water use
■ Example B.O.P. inspired by STEMhero
Topic 1) Pricing: How should leaders develop utility pricing and programs that ensure the water or energy system remains safe and reliable, but also doesn't unfairly burden the poor?
Topic 2) Sustainable resource management: What responsibility, if any, do users of water and energy have to do their best to use those resources as efficiently as possible? What tradeoffs, timeframes, and perspectives should be considered and balanced as choices are made to take or not take actions to become more efficient users of water and energy? What are other examples of challenges in our community which can be made better or worse based on the relatively small actions of many people? Sometimes these types of challenges are know as "Collective Action Problems".
*Currently being piloted
Do you have ideas for Health Heroes, or want to perhaps become a pilot teacher of the new program? Let us know and we can get you more information: