Errol Village PS
Errol Eco Avengers!
“Errol Eco Avengers assemble to defend our environment!”
- 16 Challenges Completed
- 0 Challenges not completed
A Green-Powered Canada
We as a class discussed what is renewable versus nonrenewable energy sources, and what is a green energy source. We then divided into groups to research various energy sources, the goal was to identify the ways in which energy is created or captured from these sources, and the pros and cons associated with using that energy source. We then had debates to decide whether or not Canada should continue to support each energy source. Sources that we looked at included nuclear, wind, solar, coal, oil and gas, and hydroelectricity.
The class investigated various versions of smart mobility, as well as the ways in which these new technologies reduce the amount of greenhouse gases produced, either by carrying more people or by using green energy sources such as electricity or solar power. We then began to design an energy efficient town in Minecraft Education, and students designed energy efficient transportation options throughout the town. We then used screenshots of each to make digital posters and added text to explain how green mobility can help fight climate change.
We participated in World Water Day on march 22. We watched several videos regarding water and the ways in which people are abusing surface water and groundwater resources. We studied the water cycle to understand how water is the connection between so many different forms of life and places on the planet. We then prepared posters and announcements to encourage classmates and the school to observe world water day by taking steps to reduce water wastage and to remind people the importance of protecting water by not polluting. We also participated in an indigenous presentation on water and the importance and reference of water for indigenous people in Canada. We discussed the inequity that many First Nations still do not have clean water to drink in their communities.
Do You Really Need It?
For this challenge we discussed as a group what’s the difference between a want and a need was. And then looked at ways that we use energy that could be classified as either a want or a need. The children were then challenged to choose something to give up over the weekend and then reflect on how that went. We also discussed the question of why our society finds it so hard to choose to give up the wanted forms of energy use.
So we had a class discussion about food waste in Canada and watched a video on the reasons why food is wasted and where it is wasted and current programs for reducing waste like eating ugly vegetables or food rescue. Students then went to scratch which we have been learning and created a game based on sharing information about food waste.
In class we discussed the lifecycle of plants and looked at how different kinds of plants grow and reproduce using some examples in our class like potatoes. We discussed how plants are capable of using the energy of the sun to create food in the form of sugars or starch. And the essential part of this is how they tie up carbon dioxide. We talked about how if a tree is 50 years old it has basically been tying up carbon dioxide for that 50 for years and if it is cut down and burned than that Carbon is then released. We have been lucky to learn how indigenous people used maple trees to create maple syrup and we tied this knowledge together to create a bulletin board talking about the miracle of maple syrup.
How Big Are Your Carbon Feet?
The class had a discussion about what a carbon footprint is and what impacts it. We completed a carbon footprint calculator and determined the contribution that our lifestyles make to greenhouse gases. Kids were then asked to choose items that they were either doing very well or that they could improve on and put them in their graphic foot prints.
One Hour No Power
Since the beginning of the Energy Diet, we have tried to turn off the lights and minimize energy use every day. Our biggest difficulty was that we are dependent on chromebooks for most of our work and for most of the time were limited to math and art times to be completely energy free.
The Phantom of the Classroom
We researched what Phantom Power or Vampire is, and made an infographic about what it is and how we can reduce the amount of phantom power we waste. Students then identified which forms of phantom power we have in our classroom and in our homes and how each of us could reduce the amount of energy we waste.
Tips and Tricks
The students discussed ideas for the video, and came to the decision that they really wanted to convey two ideas: one that the world that is going to be affected by our misuse of energy is their future, and the world they will pass on to their grandchildren one day. Second: they know we are fighting a battle against misuse of fossil fuels that could be a win or a loss, but they wanted to think that when they were 88, in the year 2100, they would be able to tell their grandchildren about the days when climate change was a danger and how they learned in time to stop it. We then used a face-aging app to transform some kids into grandmas and grandpas, and had them tell their stories to the youth of 2100.
We had a class discussion about how water is brought into house holds and the importance of trying to reduce the water that we use, given the concerns about pollution in the energy used in transporting and cleaning the water. We then set up a water diary for the weekend in which we were supposed to track the amount of water we used on a typical Saturday and then on Sunday try to reduce some of those uses. On Monday we went over these numbers and determined how much water was actually used from the various activities.
What’s For Lunch?
We had a discussion of what it means to eat local. We discussed the carbon footprint of our food and kids began to research some of their favourite foods to find out where they came from and whether they were available locally. We discussed options for eating local foods year-round such as canning or freezing. And kids made up a menu of what they would like to see from a local food menu.
What’s Old is New Again
When we were deciding what to do for this challenge, I was checking desks and found one student had a stash of Kool-Aid jammer packages in her desk and we were discussing how that wasn’t a great idea and that she should be putting her garbage in the garbage can when it occurred to us that we could be up cycling these packages into useful items. So we did a little bit of research on how to sew Kool-Aid jammer packages together and kids decided whether they wanted to have a wallet or a pencil stand, and with a few lessons on an old sewing machine, kids were creating something new from something that would otherwise go in the garbage.