Background: Students know when they are empowered with investigations that are real and personal. Rather than just having students calculate their “expected consumption” or rely only on data from bills (which might be unavailable or be limited to monthly/quarterly readings), this module empowers students to identify and collect themselves real data from sources measuring the student's actual consumption! All students can participate because STEMhero allows students to collect data from any type of meter (water, gas, and/or electricity) located anywhere (at student's’ home, school, or community building) -- we even have a set of virtual meters in case there are really none available. The module ends with students successfully taking their first real reading, setting them up to discover what they actually use (often far different than what was estimated by an online calculator) and to design efficiency improvements that they will implement and analyze.
Background: We love meter reading because students can learn to master it, but because it is not immediately intuitive it also stretches students to practice attention to detail, teamwork, and ultimately a bit of growth mindset ("that doesn't seem like the right reading, let me try it a different way"). We've built in lots of supports to ensure student success, but because this is not a canned activity we truly are empowering our students to figure out what their meter is telling them about consumption at their home -- something only they can help figure out.