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    7th October 2012

    Gigawatt: A billion Watts…

    A big part of my English Support class so far has been vocabulary. We’re studying Greek and Latin prefixes, which I obviously love because if gets me back to some of the language that I spent years studying. You can study along using the flashcard sets I created on my quizlet page.

    One of the prefixes I selected for this past group was “giga-“, which means a billion. I also have students learn example words, one of which was gigawatt.

    I hadn’t really thought about any possible confusion with this term until a student nearby said, “Mr. Holmlund, when it says a billion watts, is it talking about, you know… Watts?… Because that would be horrible…”

    I laughed and had to agree that probably wouldn’t be the best, then a student suggested it could be a movie where they had to escape alive from a city that was just a billion times the Watts neighborhood, which is adjacent to our school’s neighborhood and in which some of our students live.

    The students now understand that watt is a unit of energy. I hope.

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    Copyright 2005 by Daryl Holmlund - All rights reserved.