Skip to Content

Collaboration Leads Grade 9 New Germany Students to Energy Efficiency Enlightenment

Back to stories

Green Schools Nova Scotia Engagement Officers are always keen to collaborate with teachers to optimize student learning about energy efficiency. A recent school engagement with New Germany Rural High School is a great example of this collaboration.

It began when Geoff Marshall attended the Green Schools Nova Scotia session at the Atlantic Science Teachers Conference and learned about all our amazing curriculum linked resources. Back at school, Geoff shared our resources with the other grade 9 science teacher. Since both of them were new to teaching the grade 9 science curriculum they had an awesome vision!

‘What if Green Schools NS visited the school and did an extended, hands-on session about energy and energy efficiency? We could have a round robin with theory, energy meter activities, and discussion. And we could even include the math teacher!’ (Paraphrased)

Our response was easy, “That sounds like something we are totally game to try!”

We developed the Grade 9 Engagement Plan – Teacher Guide as a result of this collaboration. It is a plan to achieve the objectives of understanding where energy comes from, what energy efficiency is, and how we can waste less energy. The set-up allows for a large group of students to use hands-on experiments to measure energy consumption and calculate energy efficiency.  The grade nine students at New Germany High School were divided into three groups. They had staggered starts, working their way through three 45 minute stations: Introduction, Data Collection, and Calculations.

The introduction was the first station. Engagement Officer Natalie McMaster gave the Grade 9 Electricity  Curriculum Slideshow and an overview of what they would learn at the next two stations.

At the data collection station, students received the Classroom Energy Meter Activity sheet. With support from Engagement Officer Marlene LeBel and New Germany High teacher Mr Marshall, they broke into smaller groups and cycled through nine stations where they investigated two or three different electrical items. For each item, they used an energy meter to measure and record the numbers of watts used. They answered guiding questions to help them discover more information about each item. For example: Start from a distance and move your hand closer to the light bulb. Is there any heat coming from the light bulb? Can you comfortably touch both types of lights? Students loved the hands-on aspect and discovering the range of energy used between the items. Who knew a hair dryer used so much energy?!

After collecting their data on energy use, they moved to the calculation station where they used the Light Bulb Comparison Activity and Let’s Compare Holiday Lights Activity. Both of these activities include math, so it is a great cross-curricular experience! These activities guided students through the calculations and prompted questions to guide the final discussion on energy efficiency.  Students were amazed by the amount of energy and money that is wasted with old incandescent light bulbs. The math teacher even got involved and calculated that he has saved well over $1000 since having Efficiency Nova Scotia visit his home a few years ago.  

Each student received the Home Energy Checklist, an Efficiency Nova Scotia pamphlet, and the Lights Out At Home Challenge so they could take what they learned and apply it at home. Students and staff were inspired to head home and tell their parents and relatives about the free Efficient Product Installation program from Efficiency Nova Scotia. What a great gift! One that keeps on saving and helps the earth!

It was an awesome engagement developed out of the collaboration between Green Schools NS and an innovative grade nine teacher.

So who is game to give it a try?

~Natalie McMaster
Engagement Officer


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top