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Whycocomagh Education Centre students take initiative

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Whycocomagh Education Centre (WEC) has been part of Green Schools for the last 5 years. During that time, many students received energy efficiency presentations and participated in activities with Engagement Officer Shandel Brown. As a result, the students at WEC have developed a very thorough understanding of where our energy in Nova Scotia comes from, the impact of resource use on the environment, and most importantly, ways that we can be more energy efficient every day.

Connie Jordan’s Gr. 5-6 class is participating in the Watts Off Energy Challenge. The Watts Off Challenge is a pilot project brought by Green Schools and Efficiency Nova Scotia. Five classes from across the province were chosen to participate in a series of activities to earn points for their class over a 6 week period beginning on January 28th and ending on March 8th. Additionally, there are optional activities that can earn the classes more points above the regular activities.

Connie’s class was selected to participate in this challenge because Connie has been an enthusiastic supporter of energy efficiency education for years. When Shandel visited their class in the fall she met a keen group of students who she knew would be eager to take on an energy challenge.

During Week 1 of the Watts Off Energy Challenge, the five participating classes had an optional activity to map the energy use zones in their school. Connie’s class took this one step further and invited their Building Technician James Shaw to present to the class about how the school uses energy and which areas they could potentially waste less energy. The class had a chance to ask questions. James showed them pictures of the school’s boiler room and mechanical room. The students were excited to see pictures of their school’s energy systems and understand better how the school uses energy.   The class was delighted to learn a secret room existed upstairs! Now when they walk into their school on a cold winter day they have a better appreciation for what it takes to make the building warm. They also respect that the heat comes at a cost to both the Centre for Education and the Earth. This additional layer of knowledge has added new meaning to the activities and lessons this class has done for the Watts Off Energy Challenge.

Although the Grade 5/6 class is the only class at WEC officially participating in the Energy Challenge, the class has engaged the entire school.  The school participated in an activity called Lights Out! Curtains Open! For a whole week, every class in the school kept the lights off and used natural lighting whenever they could. Connie’s class also invited the whole school to join them in a Phantom Friday activity where they looked for items in their classroom that could be unplugged so they weren’t using phantom power over the weekend.

Connie’s Gr. 5/6 class is showing awesome initiative and leadership in taking responsibility for energy efficiency at their school.

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