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September 20, 2011 

Rising Houses of the Sun   

solar houses


ABOVE: Concept art for 2011 Solar Decathlon entries by teams (from top to bottom) New Jersey, Parsons NS Stevens, and Tidewater Virginia.    


Imagine a cozy house with all the climate control, modern appliances, and other cool features of a designer home--powered solely by the sun. Teams of college students have done just that. Their 19 prototype homes go on display September 23 when the U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon opens in Washington, D.C. Your green builders will light up at this week's lesson. See if their homes do, too.


Download our Teacher Guide for more ideas!


Lesson: Zero-Energy Home Design 


building solar houses in class In this activity, student teams in grades 9 to 11 design and build a one-bedroom model house within design constraints that uses passive solar heating techniques to heat the house and sustain that temperature as long as possible.


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Feature: Solar Decathlon Powers Up 


New Zealand Solar Decathlon Team What does it take to build a solar village, where homes not only are designed to create more energy than they use but are comfortable and cool to look at, too? For 19 collegiate teams installing their entries to the 2011 Solar Decathlon in Washington, D.C., this past weekend, the answer is: lots of hands-on work involving hammers, wrenches, plumbing, and construction cranes.


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K-12 News: Math SAT Scores Dip  

math testing SAT math scores for the Class of 2011 dropped a point nationally this year and have barely budged for a decade. Reading scores, meanwhile, have fallen 33 points from 1972 levels. The College Board says a growing number of test takers includes many who are less prepared for college or are learning English as a second language.


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To follow the Elementary and Secondary Education Act's overhaul, visit  ESEA Watch.

buy one get one2 Our special back-to-school offer on eGFI magazines has been extended for the month of September! For every magazine you purchase, you get one free. So, if you buy two magazines, you get two free. If you buy 200, you get 200 free.

Here's how: When you make a magazine purchase in our online store, the form asks how you heard of us. Simply type "Back-to-School" in the "Other" box. We'll know to double your magazine purchase at no extra cost to you--even for shipping.


This offer is only valid with purchases of magazines (fourth edition) and doesn't include our classroom kits and introductory classroom kits. The offer ends September 30.


Learn more about our exciting new fifth edition of eGFI coming out this fall!


About the eGFI Teachers' Newsletter


Delivered each week to your email inbox, our newsletter is packed with lesson plans and activities, resources, feature stories, and the latest developments in K-12 engineering education. eGFI is part of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), a non-profit organization committed to enhancing efforts to improve STEM and engineering education.   

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