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Lesson 9. Watt's Up?
Week Two Lessons
6. It's a Gas!
7. How Heavy are They?
8. When You're Hot, You're Hot
9. Watt's Up?
10. Eating Up Energy
Lab defining and applying watt units to energy consumption | Physical Science

Links on this page: Watt’s Up?-Student Data Table 1 | Watt’s Up?-Questions for Thought | Watt’s Up?- Teacher Answer Key

National Education Standards Met:

science

 

Goal: To illustrate the efficiency of different types of lighting in relationship to cost and light output.

Objectives: Students will…

  • Analyze energy efficiency in lighting
  • Determine cost vs. light output

Materials (for a class of 30):

  • Class set of Watts Up devices (approximately $100/device) with instruction sheets -about 8 (www.doubleed.com)
  • Class set of light meters
  • Class set of rulers
  • 8 light bulbs (different wattages and types)
  • Power supply and bulb sockets for each group
  • Graph paper
  • Large classroom timer with stop alarm
  • Class set of Student Sheets

Time Required: 45-60 minute period

Standards Met: S1, S2, S5, S6, LA7, LA8, M1, M2, DA1, DA2, DA3

Procedure:
PREP

  • Set up 8 stations in the classroom. Each station should have a power supply, a Watts Up meter, one type of light “bulb,” and a light meter.
  • Following the instructions in the Watts Up instruction booklet, program into the meter the cost per kilowatt-hour for your area of the country. (You can get this information from a standard electrical bill.)

IN CLASS

  • Divide the class into groups of four.
  • Go through the basic operation of the Watts Up meter with your students.
  • Explain to the students that each station will time for exactly five minutes.
  • During that time, each group will record the type of “bulb” and read its light intensity at a distance of 30 cm. Every minute they will also record the wattage used and the cumulative cost (both are programmed into the device).
  • They are to record this information in Table 1 of their Student Sheets. After 5 minutes, have the students rotate to a different station.
  • When all the stations have been covered, or until time runs out, have the students turn off all electrical devices.
  • The students are now to graph their results on the graph paper you give them.
  • Have one member of the group graph cost vs. time for each station visited. A second member will graph type of bulb vs. light output. The third member will graph wattage vs. time for each station. The fourth individual of the group should decide what other two variables they could compare, and graph them.
  • Once all the equipment has been returned to the proper location, have the students answer the Questions for Thought on the Student Sheet.

Follow up Activity:
Have the students ask their parents to show and explain to them their home electric bill over the last several months. Have each student then design and implement an experiment that might reduce his or her electric bill. They are allowed to change only one variable within their electrical use (example, don’t use any hairdryers). After the students have conducted their experiment for a two-month period, have them graph and report their results to the class.

Assessment:
Completed lab procedures
Completed questions for thought

 

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Watt’s Up?-Student Data Table 1

Name: ________________________________________

Period: _______________________________________

Station Number Type of “Bulb” Light Output (lumens) Wattage used per minute Cumulative Cost per min.
1.    

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
2.     1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
3.     1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
4.     1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
5.     1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.     1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
7.     1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
8.     1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

 

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Watt’s Up?-Questions for Thought

 

  1. Which light source had the greatest light output in lumens?

  2. Why was it important to measure the same distance away from each light source to record its intensity?

  3. Which type of light source was the cheapest to operate for five minutes?

  4. Which type of light source had the lowest cost per intensity?

  5. How much intensity is recommended for various activities? For example, how many watts should you use for reading? You may have to do some research for this answer.

  6. How does using less wattage affect our environment?

  7. What effect does using less wattage have on the emission of greenhouse gases?


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Watt’s Up?- Teacher Answer Key

  1. Which light source had the greatest light output in lumens?

    Answers will vary depending on the size of the bulbs that you use.

  2. Why was it important to measure the same distance away from each light source to record its intensity?

    When doing an experiment to compare different light intensities, it is important to keep all the other variables constant or your data will be invalid.

  3. Which type of light source was the cheapest to operate for five minutes?

    Answers will vary depending on the types of light sources used.

  4. Which type of light source had the lowest cost per intensity?

    Answers will vary depending on the types of light sources used.

  5. How much intensity is recommended for various activities? For example, how many watts should you use for reading? You may have to do some research for this answer.

    Scientific opinions vary on this answer. Most data indicate that a typical 100-watt bulb at a reading distance of about three feet yields good reading conditions. However, many individuals prefer less intense light to read by.

  6. How does using less wattage affect our environment?

    Smaller watt bulbs, in general, use less energy. By limiting our production of energy, we save natural resources and produce less pollution.

  7. What effect does using less wattage have on the emission of greenhouse gases?

    Energy production is one of the major contributors to the production of greenhouse gases. Lower watt bulbs use less energy and therefore produce less greenhouse gases.

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