4. But, is there really a problem?
Take a look at our classrooms
Here you can have a view where our project will take place. Our school's rooftop and classrooms directly underneath them. As you have learned already about the heat island effect, the more concrete we have around, the hotter the temperature gets around and inside our buildings. Imagine what it might feel like inside classrooms that have no air conditioning systems. Uff, steamy! :-(
WOW, That's a lot of concrete!
|This is the roof directly on top many of our classrooms made of concrete an covered with tar to prevent leaks from rain water. That makes them even hotter on sunny days!||This a common set up at our schools in Puerto Rico. No air conditioning system,at least 25 students, a few fans and a single line of metal windows on a side of the room.|
Taking the initial temperatures
|We took temperatures on both, our control and experimental classrooms prior to experimentation.||We did it on a daily basis for two months.||We also took temperatures inside the two classrooms directly underneath the roof.|
The initial test
Before planting anything on the roof, we wanted to know if the classrooms we selected for the project where the most proper by testing if they didn't have any significant variation on their ambiance and temperature. We did this to find out if there was a significant difference in temperatures between both before even starting, because if that was the case we could not use them since there would be a significant difference in temperatures even before doing the full scale project.
To test them, we took the temperature daily at different times of the day of the roof and classrooms of both control and experimental areas. The process of taking the temperatures started at 7:50 AM, and repeated at 9:30 AM, 11:10 AM, 1:20 PM and 3:30 PM until we finished at 4:40 PM. After all that process of taking the temperatures, we looked for the average temperatures of both classrooms and compared them.
After registering the temperatures for 24 days, during the months on November and December (winter months in northern hemisphere) we noticed that on the rooftops the difference between both areas was just 0.43° Fahrenheit. While inside the classrooms the difference was 0.26° Fahrenheit.
This data indicated us that the actual difference was less than half a degree between both areas so there was no significant difference between both, so we could use any of the rooftops as control or experimental areas.
Average Temperatures of the classrooms before planting
|Classroom # 1 became our Control and Classroom #2 our Experimental area were we grew our garden.|
Daily temperatures prior starting the project
Here you can download the data table showing the daily temperatures taken inside and outside the classrooms during 24 days. With it, we found out there was no significant difference between the temperatures in both areas.
File Type: JPEG Image: 239 K
The Real Facts. What scientific studies say.
- While doing our research we came along with some interesting studies made about how temperature affects students performance in the classroom. some of this are listed here:
1. " Psychological well-being among university students: facilitators and obstacles of academic performance"
This study made in Murcia, Spain at "Universitad Jaume I" in 2004, shows that 61% of researched individuals stated temperature (heat)as one of the variables that affect student's performance and quality of teaching.
2. "Environmental temperature and its relation with the scholastic progress"
On this study conducted at the University of Colima, Mexico in 2007 it revealed that teachers consider high temperatures affects scholastic progress, specially in schools already with low progress.