POWERING OUR WORLDCategory: 2016, Climate, Community Grant, Completed, Grant
In 2017, Green Calgary and the Arusha Centre piloted “Powering Our World”, a classroom based program that focuses on the topic of energy use and electricity and its impacts on our environment both in the production and consumption of energy. 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 helps draw attention to local impacts while also touching on the global challenge and consequences of climate change.
With support from Alberta Ecotrust, Green Calgary delivered 11 presentations on energy through hands on activated directed to youth in Calgary. In their presentations students get to explore electric systems by pedaling a FenderGenerator bike that in turn powers electronics. At the end of the presentation they break into groups and each group gets to try tools like the wattage meters, pedal bikes and solar panels to better understand how energy is produced and how they can help reduce their consumption.
Another important project activity was getting students to complete Eco Pledges. Eco Pledges are two pieces of recycled paper in the shape of a leaf where students are asked to write down one or more commitments to take positive action in their lives. They give Green Calgary one of the leaves and take the other one home to help remind them of their commitment to reduce their energy consumption. Students committed to everyday actions like turning of the lights when they leave a room, take shorter showers and dry their clothes in a clothes line instead of using the dryer.
Additionally, students participated in a Climate Action Challenge where they are asked to exchange incandescent lights for LED lights at home, and to undertake climate leadership projects in their school or communities. Classrooms are competing against each other annually, and the winning group will be invited to attend the Energy Revolution Fair in conjunction with the Mayor’s Environment Expo in Calgary to showcase their project.
As part of the project, Green Calgary created a website where students and teachers can upload updates on their progress to reduce energy consumption both at home and in the classroom. You can learn more about the program and see the updates from students and teachers at https://poweringourworldgenerationgreen.blogspot.ca.