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Database Provider

Authors

The Kid Should See This, UN Environment Programme

Grades

6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Subjects

Science, Physics, Engineering

Resource Types

  • Videos, 1 minute, 55 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Articles and Websites
  • Videos, 1 minute, 10 seconds

Regional Focus

Asia

A Sustainable Cooling System Made with Wet Terracotta Cones

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Synopsis
  • This video, brief article, and time-lapse video investigates an idea to cool the air that is cheap, simple, and better for the environment than traditional air conditioners. 
  • The architect, Monish Siripurapu, describes his invention that uses porous terracotta pots and water to cool the air, similar to evaporative cooling systems.
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • This video highlights a real-world example of an architect and engineer solving problems and positively impacting his own community. 
  • The video is a great example of innovations happening in India, while also bringing attention to challenges with sustainable development.
  • The video and the article use simple enough descriptions to be appropriate for many ages.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should be familiar with the terms biomimicry and evaporation.

Differentiation

  • Science classes can use this resource to highlight natural, low-tech solutions to problems and could extend the lesson by watching the linked video about animals that have engineered air conditioning using their environment.
  • Physics classes could investigate this phenomenon in more depth by performing an experiment using terra-cotta planters to understand why they are an effective cooling device. 
  • Social studies classes could use this video to discuss the need for affordable alternatives to traditional air conditioners, which use gases that are extremely powerful greenhouse gases.
  • Similar resources include this video about using heat pumps as a cooling device and this video about an initiative in New York City to reduce the urban heat island effect.
Scientist Notes
This 2-minute video from the United Nations Environmental Program showcases how an Indian architect is using modern tools and historical technology to produce zero-waste air conditioning. In the years since this video has published, this company has made even more progress. This resource is recommended for teaching.
Standards
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-2. Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.
      • HS-ESS3-4. Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • HS-ETS1-3. Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
    • PS1: Matter and Its Interactions
      • MS-PS1-4. Develop a model that predicts and describes changes in particle motion, temperature, and state of a pure substance when thermal energy is added or removed.
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