In winter and spring 2014, 50 Burlington High School physics students participated in an Energy Efficiency Challenge. Their charge is to find ways for Burlington homeowners and landlords to increase energy efficiency based on the science and economics of energy use.
Students worked with BHS physics teacher Lisa Carpenter and Partnership for Change fellow Erika Lowe using a process called design thinking. Design thinking borrows the framework for problem-solving and innovation used by engineers and designers and applies it to authentic problems and behaviors in society. In March, student design teams interviewed nine different landlords and homeowners and designed prototypes to improve community members’ energy efficient behaviors. The next step involves partnering with community organizations and businesses, such as the City of Burlington’s Community and Economic Development Office (CEDO), Efficiency Vermont, and Burlington Electric to design a prototype that can reach all Burlingtonians. The Energy Efficiency Challenge is just one of several projects that has grown out of local training and workshops around design thinking in education.
Learn more about this project on our blog:
- “BHS Physics Students Kick Off Home Energy Efficiency Challenge!” by Amy Dickson
- “Go Green, Save Green: Energy Efficiency Design Challenge” by Erika Lowe