As you and your students are preparing for coming back to school for a new year, remember the daunting task for the school administration, energy managers, and facilities staff of preparing the school for you. One of the biggest challenges and opportunities each year is taking the school back to normal operating temperature.
Even if the air conditioners are not shut off for the break, there's a big difference between cooling empty facilities and cooling those full of excited learners. And it's a monumental task. Some schools and utility operators estimate that cooling K-12 schools claims roughly 35% of those buildings’ overall electricity consumption, by and large the greatest percentage of any end use. These costs mount, but cutting them cuts the quality of life for students and teachers. Fortunately, air conditioning powered by electricity is not the only way to keep cool in school.
The Watt Watchers of Texas team has prepared a project-based learning activity appropriate for high school students looking across the country at different ways to keep schools cool without the big drain of electrical air conditioning.