POWERING OUR WORLDCategory: 2016, Climate, Community Grant, Current, Grant
This is a pilot for a classroom based program for Grades 9-12 with direct curriculum connections for each grade level. For Grade 9, this fits with “Electrical Principles & Technologies”; for Grade 10, “Energy Flow in Technological Systems” and for Grades 11-12, “Energy and the Environment”. With the new curricular competencies, we are using the approach similar to our Green Kids program, where go into schools to provide a hands on inquiry based programs which touch on a majority of the competencies outlined by Alberta Education.
This is a new offering where Green Calgary is focusing on the topic of energy use and electricity; its impacts on our environment both in the production and consumption of energy. They will also be talking about how energy is produced in Alberta – coal still accounts for 50% of our energy locally, renewables less than 5%. What does that mean for the environment when we plug something in or turn on a light switch? The program will focus on the local impacts as well as touching on the global impacts of climate change.
Electricity is invisible but this activity provides hands-on learning by pedaling a FenderGenerator, a stationary bike suitable for youth who are being targeted for this program. Electricity is generated and supplied to play music, charge smart devices, video gaming equipment and more as an insight into the technology, production, consumption conservation, and impacts of energy consuming everyday machines. Using a wattage meter allows students to compare items they can generate electricity for and those that consume larger amounts of power. Students learn how to answer the questions: How is electrical energy unique? What are the sources of electricity? How much physical exertion is needed to provide electricity for a cell phone as compared to hairdryer? What are the best ways to conserve electricity? How does electricity production affect climate change?
When youth are impacted with the devices they use, the anticipated impact is to have them be more conscious users of energy, where it comes from and inform behaviour change and conscious energy consumption.