Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Have a fun, safe and efficient Halloween!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Today's Energy Thought


A)  are a great way to save energy.

B)  use more energy than they save.

C)  help your computer run properly.

D)  are necessary to preserve the life of your computer monitor.

Scroll down to check your answer...

Don't let the name fool you, screensavers use more energy than they save. Screensavers may also interfere with a computer's sleep mode feature not allowing a computer to go to "sleep" due to inactivity. Additionally, screensavers were first used when images could become "burned" permanently into a screen if left up on a monitor for too long. Thanks to updated technology, this issue is no longer a factor for newer computer screens and television monitors.
So if you answered B, you are correct!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Shedding a little light...

There are a lot of questions surrounding the impending new law regarding incandescent and energy efficient light bulbs. After a little research, here are the facts.

Section 321 of the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA), passed by Congress and signed by President Bush in 2007, established increased minimum energy efficiency standards for general service lamps. EISA does not ban incandescent light bulbs but its minimum efficiency standards are high enough that the incandescent lamps currently most commonly used by consumers will not meet these new requirements. When implemented, the EISA will essentially eliminate 40, 60, 75 and 100 watt medium screw-based incandescent light bulbs.

The new law is implemented by the U.S. Dept. of Energy and it does not ban the use or purchase of incandescent bulbs nor does it ban the sale or manufacture of all incandescent bulbs, a common misconception. The law just bans common household incandescent bulbs that are not energy efficient and do not meet the new requirements. Additionally, the EISA does not mandate the use of CFLs, it simply requires 25% less energy use for household bulbs that typically consume between 40 and 100 watts of electricity.

There are a few exemptions for specialty type bulbs including three-way bulbs, chandelier bulbs, refrigerator bulbs, plant grow lights and a few other types. The law goes into effect January 1, 2012, and will be phased in over a period of three years.

For additional information click here to view a FAQ sheet from the EPA or click here for a link to the Energy Savers page for the U.S. Dept. of Energy.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Today's Energy Thought

If just half of all the children in the United States swapped Halloween costumes instead of buying new ones this year, how much trash would be kept out of the landfills?

A)  1,250 tons

B)  3, 250 tons

C)  6,250 tons

D)  12,250 tons

Scroll down to check your answer...

And the correct answer is C) 6,250 tons, not pounds but TONS!
That is a lot of trash!
So swap, hand-down, recycle, re-use, re-purpose, have fun!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Did you know?

In 1992 the EPA began the ENERGY STAR program with rating which of the following for its energy efficiency:

Microwave Ovens

Computers and Monitors

Washers and Dryers



Scroll down to check your answer...

The above image is a hint...

If you said microwave oven, you are incorrect.
If you said computers and monitors, you are correct!
The Energy Star program was created in the early 1990s by the Environmental Protection Agency in an attempt to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by power plants. Initially it began as a voluntary labeling program designed to identify and promote energy efficient products. The first electronics to receive Energy Star labels were computer and printer products.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Energy Vampire Busting

Tuesday was the 4th annual Field and Leadership Day for both elementary and secondary students in ISD 719. A wide variety of environmental education classes and activities were held all day for the high school Eco Team, the elementary Junior Naturalists, and the middle school Earthlings at the McColl Environmental Learning Center located in Savage.

The Energy session included playing the interactive video game Charge Up!, trying out the Energy Bike using human power to compare energy use levels, two watt meter stations and going out about testing footcandle readings with a light meter.

Below are a few images captured throughout the fun and educational day with some pretty awesome students. A big thank you goes out to Amy Harker with SEE/Class 5 Energy for her tag-team efforts in helping offer such cool energy activities for these eco-conscious Prior Lake-Savage Area students. And another huge thank you to Cara Rieckenberg, the Environmental Ed. Coordinator for the district who organized this great event. Yay Cara!

Many Energy Vampires were definitely busted that day!


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Today's Energy Thought

It's been too long so here is something to ponder...
1/3 of all water consumed is used for this:

Scroll down to check your answer...


Monday, October 10, 2011

Students Light up the Classroom!

An enthusiastic group of students tried their hand at lighting up bulbs with the Human Powered Generator last week. You can definitely see they are working much harder with the round, regular incandescent bulb. Sometimes it took several seconds before the bulb would begin to slightly glow and many students could not get the bulb to shine its brightest.

Working really hard to light up a regular bulb.

Using a lot of energy to illuminate an incandescent bulb.


When they switched to the energy efficient compact fluorescent bulb, it was much easier and lit up right away and stayed really bright as the students easily turned the handles. Some students even let go with one hand and continued to keep the CFL brightly lit with just one hand powering the generator. What a great visual for these kids.

The CFL lit up right away with a lot less energy.

Instant illumination with very little effort.

WOW! That was easy!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Game Show Madness

Charge Up! the year three Energy Game Show is making the rounds in the district right now. Many 3rd through 5th grade classrooms are enjoying the fast paced, Jeopardy-esque interactive video game currently available for our use from the SEE program. The students are having fun learning about stand by power, plug loads and energy vampires among other energy facts and figures. Off to Glendale Elementary in Savage!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

1st Grade Generators

Below is just one group of students who recently tried their hand at powering up light bulbs with the human powered generator. All of these first grade students took turns lighting up both an incandescent or regular bulb and also an energy efficient CFL bulb.
All of the kids agreed if they had to keep one bulb lit up for 10 minutes, they would rather power the CFL. The generator provided a great visual since normally you cannot really see energy or a power source so it gave the students a good comparison of the amount of energy needed to light up these bulbs.

This was just one classroom of the dozens around the school district that have been checking out this cool SEE activity the past couple of weeks. Since the Energy Game Show is geared more for the upper primary grades through adults, this was a fun activity for the younger students. Stay tuned for more up-dates from energy adventures out and about in the schools this fall.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Game Show and more at GD


Thanks to Ms. Jaeb's 5th grade class at Glendale for being awesome game show contestants. Above are the three teams: the Penguins, the Ducks and the Pups. The students had a lot of fun playing the game and even learned some new facts about energy at the same time. After the game show the kids all had a chance to use the human powered generator and try their hand at illuminating an incandescent light bulb and a CFL bulb. It was a great way for the students to visualize the difference in the amount of energy it takes to power a regular light bulb versus an energy efficient option.  These 5th graders are definitely energy rock stars!