Overview

Design and construct a model house using the engineering Design Process so the inside temperature is less than the outside temperature on a sunny day in an Urban Heat island environment. Learners increase their awareness about built and natural environments, how humans interact with the environment and a phenomenon known as the Urban Heat Island. Through this project-based challenge, learners apply their understanding of the Urban Heat Island to design and build a model of an energy efficient home in this urban setting.

Exploration of the Local Urban Environment

Learners explore their local environment and learn about urban growth in order to form their understanding of the Urban Heat Island phenomenon. In the process, students understand relationships among materials, their properties, and the environment. Instructional opportunities provide settings where students can a) conduct experiments to measure and compare the temperature of various surfaces in shaded and un-shaded areas, b) analyze infrared thermal images, and c) explore the Urban Heat Island phenomenon by visiting Arizona State University's green building.

Simulation of Energy Efficient House

Through the Engineering Design Process, learners use their understanding of the underlying issues of the Urban Heat Island to develop their own design for the construction of a model house. Students iteratively develop, build, and test their own model house and apply their creativity in mitigating the impact of the Urban Heat Island.

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