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Wasting Less, Power Outages, and Virtual Visits at Pictou Landing First Nation School

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Ms Laura McIsaac invited Pam Chandler to share a Green Schools NS engagement with grades Primary to six at Pictou Landing First Nation School. Primary students had an opportunity to learn about using Draft Snakes to keep heat indoors in the winter. Grade one and two students got together to learn about their ecological footprint, and grades three to six learned about energy sources and how to save energy. Pam’s visit happened to be on Pyjama Day so students and staff were all dressed in warm, fuzzy jammies!

Students in grades three to six tested the energy consumption of four common devices using an Energy Meter. They tested an LED light bulb, an incandescent light bulb, LED mini lights, and incandescent mini lights. It’s incredible to see first-hand how much energy can be saved by using LED light bulbs. Using Google Hangouts, Pam included her fellow Engagement Officers Natalie and Colleen in the presentation. The students and staff loved meeting these members of Green Schools NS and had the opportunity to ask them questions. Colleen shared that she had previous experience working with Efficiency Nova Scotia in a program called the Efficient Product Installation Service. Natalie answered a question about her home: She lives near a river, and named her dog “Sipu” which means “river” in Mi’kmaq! It was great to have Natalie and Colleen join the class from remote locations. A virtual visit is an effective way to demonstrate efficiency because it helps reduce car trips and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.

The ten Primary students made draft snakes and learned why it’s important to keep the heat indoors: to help protect our environment. Students all sat together to hear a story Pam read from a book made of recycled paper. These students know that by recycling paper we can avoid cutting down all the world’s forests. Paper waste can be made into new things, like this book! The teachers provided lots of help to make draft snakes, which are another great way to repurpose waste and create something new! The students were very aware of how important it is for humans to care for the environment. Primary students were rewarded with a small Green Prize for being great listeners, and then they wanted Pam to get a Green Prize too, and they gave her a Green Schools NS stamp on her cheek!

Grade one and two students learned about something called the “Ecological Footprint.” Humans have impacts on our environment which is sometimes called an ecological footprint. How can we shrink that footprint to reduce our negative effects on the environment? The “Green Ninja” video was such a huge hit that the class wanted to watch it again! The students shared some great stories and questions about energy. Many had lost power over the weekend recently due to a storm. The students suggested using blankets and sweaters to stay warm when it’s cold, even when they have heat and power at home. Some great questions came up, such as “Why do we lose power sometimes?” The answer is that weather like wind, snow, and freezing rain can knock down power lines which might break the electrical circuit that delivers electricity. That’s when electricity could be disconnected for homes in the area. It’s an interesting energy efficiency experiment, to live without electricity!

Pam taught these students more tips about helping the Earth, such as Powering Down. That involves making sure electronics are unplugged and/or turned off so energy is not wasted. Presentations and activities like these are an opportunity for the students to understand energy and the positive effects of energy efficiency. By being more energy efficient we can reduce greenhouse gases, use resources wisely, and care for our environment. 

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