How should I shower?
In this activity students investigate a variety of shower heads with the intention of making a recommendation to a homeowner as to the "best" to use; then, they are similarly to make a recommendation to their university for shower heads for the residence halls. Basic cost comparisons, break even point, and societal considerations need to go into the decisions that are made.
Specifically, students will investigate these questions:
Part One: What are the benefits/costs of 3 varieties of shower head types: standard, low flow, massage spray? Would it be worthwhile to replace what I have in my own shower, assuming I have a standard shower head?
Part Two: Which options should be available in the residence halls? Would you recommend replacing the current standard shower heads?
Engage students in discussion of breadth of considerations beyond personal preference.
Help students make environmentally sound personal choices.
Help students to analyze data and make an informed recommendation for dormitory showers.
Advance student literacy around sustainability issues.
Emphasize data analysis and critical thinking.
Context for Use
Description and Teaching Materials
Faculty member (or designated students) solicits data from Facilities Management Director regarding type and number of current shower heads in dorms, institutional costs involved with replacing a shower head in dorms, water rates and any related tariffs incurred by the institution regarding water usage.
Teaching Notes and Tips
Session 1 30 minute Whole Class Discussion: Initial teasing out of Part One problem, variables and assumptions, assignment of roles to group members. Consideration should be given to topics such as how long is a typical shower? (I.e., What is its equivalent in 5-minute shower units? Should we adjust our showering unit to a different length?)
What are additional considerations needed when problem is transferred to the institutional level (Part Two)? Besides volume and maintenance worker cost not associated with a home, in our location, college and universities are subject to some taxes usually associated with hotels/motels as part of the "bed count" for the city.
Week interval for information collection related to individual home problem.
Session 2 Group analysis of Part One data. Group recommendations to individual home owner and reasoning shared with class. Discussion. Sharing of Institutional information and make plans for Part Two data collection and analysis.
Week Interval for institution-related data collection.
Session 3: Group analysis of Part Two data. Recommendations determined and presentations prepared.
Session 4: Presentations delivered to class.