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E-Mission: Grade Nine students create the vision of a Net Zero Cape Breton

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Last week we hosted an exciting event called Celebrate Cape Breton at Cape Breton University. This event including Placemaking 4G, Efficiency Nova Scotia, and Cape Breton University. Ninety-nine Grade 9. students from across Cape Breton attended the event. The goal was to celebrate the sustainable projects and ideas that are already happening in Cape Breton, and to brainstorm what the future could look like. Students prepared for the day by watching a series of videos and having discussions on different sustainability topics beforehand. This event supported curriculum outcomes of the Citizenship 9 course. This event was hosted by Cape Breton University at the Verschuren Centre, a building that is a perfect example of energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Students participated in an exercise called E-Mission. Students were divided into nine groups: Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Water Conservation, Waste Management, Transportation, Inclusive Sustainable Economy, Placemaking, Food Security, and Green Buildings and Infrastructure. Each group included students from different schools across the Island and a mentor. Our amazing mentors had expertise in a particular field and a passion for working with youth. Each group spent some time getting to know each other. Then they brainstormed all the ideas, questions, and issues they could think of for their topic. Their final project was to create a visual representation of what a net-zero Cape Breton community could look like. Communicating their ideas visually brought out even more of their talent as the artists in the group stepped forward and everyone pitched in to add a splash of colour to their posters.

After lunch, everyone had the opportunity to do a gallery walk of all the posters. Even though each group focused on only one element of a net-zero community, the gallery walk allowed us to see a more complete picture of what future net-zero communities could look like. Each group had two student volunteers stand with their poster to share with others the messages, ideas, and solutions that their team co-created.

We were delighted to hear stories about new friendships formed and an overall sense of excitement about where they could take their ideas from here. One mentor told me later, “I had two students come up to me to say thanks for being a good mentor.

Have a look at the photos below to see the incredible work these students put into this project. Efficiency NS, Greenschools & Thinkwell Shift would like to thank everyone who helped make the event happen, and especially to all the students and mentors for their hard work and creativity.

~Shandel Brown

Cape Breton Engagement Officer


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