Tables turned as Nevada teachers go to school for energy efficiency

Teachers in Las Vegas became students for a week when they took part in the city's STEM Teaching Academy, which is focused on enhancing educators' knowledge of science, technology, engineering and math as it relates to to energy conservation.

The program took place during the week of July 27, and included visits to teachers' homes and a series of science projects that are not dissimilar to those the educators would assign to their own students.

"It's the same with teachers as it is with kids. The more hands-on it is, the more involved they'll be," said Katie Rifenburg, professional development coordinator with Envirolution, a Reno-based company that designed the program to help teachers develop new lesson plans about efficiency, in a story from the Las Vegas Review Journal.

The participants came from middle and high schools throughout the city with disciplines ranging from science to English language arts.

One activity included a field trip to high school teacher David Butler's house, where he and 15 other educators gave the home an amateur energy audit.

The teachers were able to determine where the hot-spots in the home were and what places caused the biggest drafts. Using a blower that pulls air from the house and sends it out the front door, the group determined leaks from a drafty garage door and lighting fixtures in the ceiling. By sealing the openings, the teachers learned, Butler would need to use the air conditioner less, as cool air wouldn't be able to escape.

For any homeowner wishing to complete an in depth energy audit, a professional home inspection can give them a detailed evaluation of their property's efficiency.