Going Green! Middle Schoolers Out to Save the World

In this four-year ITEST Scale-up project, 1400 middle school students from twenty-nine classrooms in California, Michigan, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, North Carolina, Texas, Vermont, and Virginia will monitor home energy consumption under the supervision of their teachers and use data gathered to develop optimum scenarios for conserving energy and reducing the global production of greenhouse gases. The focus of student activities will be centered around stand-by power. Stand-by power consumption is a rapidly growing area of global concern due to the large number of electrical devices with ‘instant on’ features in our modern day world. A two-stage process of: a) training middle school teachers, and b) supporting classroom implementation, will result in three instructional cycles taking place during the four years of the project. Pre-post assessments of science content knowledge and interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) as a career will demonstrate that the students completing MSOSW activities will be more inclined, compared to their non-MSOSW peers, to be on a path of knowledge and interest leading to a STEM career. The project is a Scale-up of a Strategies ITEST/ NSF Middle Schoolers Out to Save the World Project in which there were positive outcomes leading to more questions about how the project might impact various groups of students – based on gender, cultural diversity, socioeconomic status, type of school (public, charter, private, lab) and urban or rural location. A new partnership with Whyville, a seven million member free website dedicated to learning through exploration and communication for students ages 8-14, offers unique opportunities for STEM career exposure as well as learning community continuity for students and teachers when NSF support ends.

This website was created as part of the National Science Foundation Innovative Technologies (ITEST) Grant #1312168