School District 42 elementary school students are doing their best to be champion conservationists this month.
The sixth annual Energy Cup is bringing out the best in competitive spirits, while teaching some valuable lessons inside the classroom, and at home too.
Running from April 6-30, schools are aiming to cut down electricity consumption, reduce their waste footprint and lower greenhouse gas emissions.
SD42’s manager of facilities planning Derek Oppedisano is running the contest this year, and stresses how great a teaching opportunity the month can be.
“The idea of it is to encourage (students) to follow conservation behaviours at home, and then share those things on social media. It teaches the parents what’s going on, and shares it with their broader community too,” he said.
Week one of the competition challenged the classes to look at lowering electricity consumption, with students and teachers encouraged to keep lights off, or hold classes outside.
Webster’s Corner elementary emerged victorious in that challenge, with Alexander Robinson coming in a close second.
Everybody is a winner however, with schools averaging about 10 percent less electricity use over the course of five days.
“It was pretty impressive what they were able to do in just one week,” Oppedisano said.
Today’s tip: Gather old materials and re-use them for an art project.
What are you doing to conserve energy? Share your ideas under #sd42EnergyCup.
— School District 42 (@sd42news) April 15, 2021
The numbers are still coming in for week two, where the focus was on emissions. Classes and staff tried to reduce their output by walking or biking to work if possible.
This week was all about eliminating waste, with the goal of trying to get everyone to bring zero waste lunches to school.
“Every class gets audited, and the teachers ask their students how many pieces of garbage they have left over once lunch is eaten,” Oppedisano explained.
The final week will involve sharing what has been learned through virtual presentations and social media.
“That is the chance for the kids to bring the conversation home,” Oppedisano said. “We want to teach kids the little things they can do that can ultimately have a big impact.”
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