Sir John Moore
Knights of the Cottage
- 17 Challenges Completed
- 0 Challenges not completed
A Green-Powered Canada
Students researched different forms of renewable and non renewable energy in Cansda. We had a class discussion about what this meant and how we get energy from different sources. Finally, students chose a topic of interest to them and created slideshows to present and share in class on the various topics of renewable energy in Canada.
Students completed smart mobility posters after researching what some ideas of smart mobility are. They realized simple things like biking, rollerblading, etc happen more when kids are younger versus as people become adults and decided to do their posters to reflect doing these things rather than driving to highlight the importance of reducing our carbon footprint and making small differences to help the planet.
As a class we decided what we could encourage to have the most impact in our school community. We decided to make a slide for our virtual announcements that encouraged classrooms to turn off their lights during nutrition break and when outside for recess. We have 2 of these blocks each day consisting of 80 minutes of electrical energy saved per classroom each day. We decided to calculate what this could look like if every single classroom did this for only a week and realized as a school we could save 1680 minutes in one week. We put the challenge out there and encouraged classrooms to embrace natural light, unplug and turn off. We had a wonderful response and as a school saved 118 hours of electrical energy. We decided to keep this going throughout the remainder of the year!
Do You Really Need It?
As a class we discussed what kinds of things in our households use energy and out of those things what do we actually need and what are things that we want but are not essential. Students made a plan on Google Classroom and I sent home a message to parents on our communication platform of the students plans to give up 2 things, either one on Saturday and one on Sunday or they could give them both up for one entire day. After they made their plans for the weekend the families messaged me back loving this idea and held the students accountable for it. When we returned to school on Monday we had a talk about what things they gave up and how it felt. I had them complete a reflection on this experience by asking them to fill out a virtual slide on: what did they give up and for how long, how did it feel and was it easy? Could they do it again, why or why not? And what kinds of activities did they do rather than using these things or how did they go around it? They really liked this and so did the families!
We planted tomatoes and flowers and have been monitoring their growth. We talked about the importance of bees and how this relates to the sustainability of nature and other things so we decided that flowers would be good to plant but bring home to put in gardens. The tomato plants we are going to keep at the school and watch them grow and hopefully eat some once they are ready! We also explored photosynthesis and made infographics to go with our plants. We had to leave them in the learning commons area where they will get enough sunlight and after exploring photosynthesis and the way the suns energy helps the plants growth and provides nutrients we definitely have seen more growth in our plants compared to in our classroom where there was very little sunlight.
How Big Are Your Carbon Feet?
As a class we discussed what a carbon footprint is. We talked about our geological location and how some areas may have a higher carbon footprint for various reasons (longer commute, etc). We then looked at the average carbon footprint and used the calculator to see how big our footprint was. Finally, students brainstormed ways to reduce their carbon footprint and decorated their 'feet' with the different ways they came up with and wrote their footprint average on the back.
Limited Edition: Game Time!
After lots of discussion in class about how to reduce our waste students generated multiple choice questions that we put into an online game called Kahoot! And then played together as a class. This gave us an opportunity to investigate more into food waste, energy conservation and our carbon footprints. Students enjoyed seeing their questions and answering those of others in a fun way!
One Hour No Power
We decided to keep this challenge going all year so our grand total will end up being a lot more than the current number we are submitting. We talked about the natural benefits of sunlight and why it is better than fluorescent lights and also about energy conservation and how much energy we are saving by turning the lights off. We used this challenge for our entire school and ended up saving 28 hours of electrical energy as an entire school in one week so we are going to add that to our overall total as well. Each day we began with turning the lights off for our morning hour of work because the sun was usually up and shining nice and bright to provide us the light we needed. Then we realized that at the end of the day we had another hour we wanted to tack onto the challenge so our week 1 was 2 hours a day of lights off, each school day. We continued this routine for 3 weeks and then decided to challenge ourselves on week 4 and add another hour in the morning, which was pretty easy so we decided to give up 4 hours a day in the last few weeks. Our grand total with school savings plus 7 weeks of lights off throughout the day is: 133 hours!!
Round and Round it Goes
We used the cards provided in the lesson plan to look at how sustainable the natural economy is and talked about why and how. We found some great videos to explain the circular economy and then discussed how this might happen and work for different items. Students designed posters to explain the circular economy and each researched one item that they would like to see this happen with. After we shared those we talked as a class about how this could potentially happen for anything in the world and we need to start fixing things and reusing items rather than throwing them away.
We discussed energy-related issues and different ways we can display this in a comic. Students decided that pollution was a huge one and also one we have been trying to target at out school and in our own community. After they made their comics they decided that they wanted to get out and actually make it happen. We shared our pictures of us picking up garbage and our comics with our school to encourage them to throw away their garbage, pick up garbage if you see it and bring awareness of pollution to everyone.
As a class we watched the videos provided with this challenge from PBS and National Geographic. We looked at different items that are single use and as a class discussed how we can reduce our usage of these items and some ways to get around creating so much waste. We shared some of these ideas with the families in the class and I sent home a message through our parent communication portal about the challenge and what this entailed. Students brought their recording sheets home and kept track of their usage at home with their families. It was really neat to see some of the tracking logs and how they actively saved on their waste at the end of the week. As an entire class the total added up to 284 items saved from entering the landfill!
The Phantom of the Classroom
We watched the videos attached to this challenge and had a discussion of what phantom power is and how we can use elect4ical bars and other energy conserving ways to keep our things turned off and unplugged when not in use. We decided to locate the main power sources throughout the school and in conversations with other teachers, students and the custodian we located on a map where all of the main power boxes were in each room and how each of these are constantly running electricity throughout the evenings, weekends and time out of school. Normally, we would go on a hunt ourselves but with restrictions we decided to use word of mouth and memory from previous classrooms that students had been in. We were able to locate a phantom power source in almost every classroom and then talked about what rooms have electrical bars, etc. With main things like the smart board and computers hooked up to it.
Tips and Tricks
After completing our carbon footprint challenge students were intrigued to find ways they could reduce their own footprint and transferred some of that knowledge into sharing energy-saving tips with the school. We are out in a portable and have nick named it "The Cottage" which is why on each slide it says: 'Energy saving tips from The Cottage'. We have virtual morning announcements that run off of Google Slides so each student created a Google Slide with a different energy saving tip that they learned from the carbon footprint challenge and we brainstormed some other ways to conserve energy.
Throughout the challenges so far, the class has become more aware of issues relating to energy conservation, their carbon footprints and how to help make a positive impact. They brainstormed various things they wanted to discuss as their public service announcement. They split into groups and each of them covered a topic of importance. One was composting, another was fun things to do outside and conserve power. The other two groups decided to talk about the importance of recycling. Since we were only able to upload one of the 4 videos we had a class vote on the one to submit and then decided to share the other videos on our virtual school announcements for everyone to see!
We used our previous day to determine the amount of water that we used. We talked about certain things such as comparing brushing teeth with the tap on and tap off. Flushing the toilet, they were shocked to see the low flush and old flush. Also, the amount of water usage for a 5 minute shower! That is where a lot of them said they take normally 10-20. Minute showers and thought that used less water than a bath. Now they realize how many litres they are using. We compared the previous days usage and totalled it and on day 2 we decided to make some better water usage choices. Some students used the exact same amounts on day 1 and day 2 and decided that they would make a plan to save water and write about how they could save by making small changes to their daily habits. After totalling up all of the water works sheets we were able to save a total of 5039 L of water in 2 days!!
What’s For Lunch?
We brainstormed a list of locally grown foods and products. We realized how lucky we are to have so many local markets, farmers and agriculture in our area that provides us with an abundance of food products. Everything from beef, chicken and poultry farms to locally grown vegetables, fruits and wheat. We discussed how some of the dairy farms in our area produce cheese and other products to give them an idea of the kinds of recipes they could create. Some students looked for recipes online that they could use and realized how some of them require a lot of out-sourced products and we then traced the carbon footprint of using these items in our recipes. We decided to keep it 100% local for our recipes and created an online class cookbook (to reduce any paper waste) that we could share on our Google Classroom. Normally, we would make a few of these recipes but with Covid restrictions we are not allowed so we shared the cookbook with parents on our online platform so they can try out some of these recipes at home.
What’s Old is New Again
We came up with creative design ideas of things we could create out of recycled materials. Using these materials we built art sculptures, speakers, bird feeders, etc. Students are displaying pictures of their items on the morning announcements for the school to see to encourage recycled creativity rather than buying certain items.