Science class creates display for local retailer

Post date: May 22, 2013 5:38:16 PM

Science is anything but ordinary or routine for students of Saul Lindauer, Wells Junior High School’s seventh grade science teacher. Lindauer often connects classroom learning with the community to help students become responsible citizens in a world that has finite resources.

Recently, in a unit on electricity, Lindauer assigned students to research light bulbs where they learned terms like ‘lumens’ and ‘lux’. They also examined the major shift in usage from the ordinary incandescent light bulb (in common use for over a century) to the longer-lasting and energy efficient compact fluorescent lamp (CFL).

A CFL bulb is an innovative descendent of the ordinary fluorescent tube with a radical design change yielding the distinctive ‘spiral’ tube look. The CFL is appropriate for most lamps with sockets designed for the incandescent bulb but the CFL can last up to 15 times longer while using as little as a fifth of the electricity.

But there is a downside to the CFL. Like its older fluorescent relative, a CFL contains a small amount of mercury and resulting mercury vapor. Since mercury is a toxic substance, a CFL bulb requires special handling to be disposed of properly. In some cities, counties and states it is illegal to toss out a CFL bulb in one’s trash.

To help educate the public on CFL use, Lindauer’s students created an informational display about CFLs. They were invited to place their display in Aubuchon Hardware in Wells for a couple of weeks beginning May 1st by store Manager Jon Lord.

Lord indicated that Aubuchon Hardware is a retailer of light bulbs including CFLs and that his store is now a ‘drop off’ location for used CFLs. He says anyone can bring their CFL bulbs to the store to be shipped off for disposal at no cost.

The student display consists of photos, facts and numerous homemade CFL containers with listings on the cover about usage, environmental and economic benefits, and disposal information.

Lord said that store employees will judge the boxes and choose a couple of designs that they find best. Students whose designs are picked will receive a CFL lamp as a prize.

Lindauer indicated he sees usage of CFLs declining in a decade as initial high prices for the even more efficient LED (light-emitting diode) bulb decreases. And LED bulbs do not contain mercury.

Caption: From left to right are Abby Hussey, Jessica Licardo, Saul Lindauer, Ben Stevens, Jon Lord and Ashley Tosh at Aubuchon Hardware in Wells on May 1, 2013

Caption: Student created CFL packaging.