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Biology Students study passive solar heating

Mrs. Hack's Biology students studying Human Impacts on Biodiversity got a chance for a hands-on performance assessment project. As part of the scientific phenomena "How can humans undo their negative impacts on the environment", students learned the concept of passive solar heating.

Through this process, students learn how insulation, window placement, surface colors, thermal mass, and site orientation play important roles in passive solar heating. Students use this information to discuss, design, build, then test their own model solar homes. Solar homes were tested for thermal gains and losses during simulated day and night over a period of time. Students then had to graph their data and figure positive and negative slope values.

The passive solar homes that retained the most heat during the night period were deemed the winners!