Lesson Plans > Science
Only in the past decade or so have districts begun installing air conditioners in old schools, and including them in new schools. Air conditioning is very expensive. As the days heat up in the Northern Hemisphere, seize the opportunity to discover how air conditioners work and alternative ways to keep cool.
How do air conditioners cool the air? One of our favorite websites, How Stuff Works, has an excellent description of how air conditioners and refrigerators work. Take a walk around the school to locate your school's air conditioner and compare it to units used in homes. Have students determine what type of air conditioner they use in their own home. Some homes will have central air, some may use window units, and some may even have industrial cooling systems if they live in an apartment.
The cooler you set the temperature on an air conditioner's thermostat, the longer it has to run to cool a room, and the more it costs. By turning the thermostat up just a few degrees, you can save a lot of energy! Why is it important to save energy? How much does energy cost?
Thermometer Field Trip
Based on your observations, what can you do to keep cooler and save energy this summer? Closing the blinds at home and at school will have the same effect as being in the shade. Spending time in the basement at home will also help you to stay cool. You might also keep in mind that because hot air rises, opening a window on the top floor of your house will help to let out the hot air at night, when the temperature outside is lower.
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Dog Days of Summer
Where did they
come up with that expression, anyway? According to the American Kennel
Club, one theory comes from the ancient Romans who maintained that when
the Dog Star, Sirius, rose with the sun, the heat from the two stars raised