Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows School District No. 42 students and staff were up to the challenge.
During the month of February, 10 schools participated in the fourth annual SD42 Energy Challenge and completed over 424 energy-saving activities.
This year’s highlights included sustainability pledge trees, art projects using upcycled materials, recycled clothing drives, social media contests, energy tip videos, garden reclamation projects, lights out lunches, and much more.
The student-led initiatives resulted in energy savings of 43,624 kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity and 169 gigajoules (GJ) of natural gas – enough to power five residential homes for an entire year.
“The goal of the Energy Challenge is to inspire and encourage teachers and students to think about sustainability and energy savings in their schools,” said Alexandra Tudose, manager, energy & environmental sustainability.
This year’s Energy Challenge champion is Alexander Robinson Elementary. With incredible participation from staff and students, the school produced a series of entertaining video tips featuring Imperial Galactic Stormtrooper called TC-1588 (see the school’s Twitter feed) and undertook several other initiatives, including building a piezoelectric floor and a dramatic re-enactment of the Exxon Valdez spill.
On May 8, the school received a trophy and $350 to spend on an energy, sustainability or healthy lifestyle initiative at their school.
“The motivation part was simple – we want the Energy Challenge to exist not as an event in February, but rather as a catalyst for a discussion and mindset that will last all year,” said principal Adam Stanley.
Honourable mention goes to Kanaka Creek Elementary for spearheading a “Glove Your Neighbourhood” recycled clothing drive, and to the Garibaldi Green Group for its impressive Instagram photo contest.
“This year we had a tight race to the finish. The Energy Challenge activities covered broader themes of sustainability and interconnectedness. All participating schools not only had fun but also aligned these themes with curriculum requirements. That is brilliant because energy conservation is only a small part of bringing sustainability into the classroom,” said Tudose.
The piezoelectric floor recovers energy from skipping, trying to skip, or virtually any other use. This technology is being pioneered by researchers for use in sidewalks and roads – the problem is that you would need a LOT of floor and a LOT of use. @SD42Energy pic.twitter.com/bjguzcAWO7
— Alexander Robinson (@AlexRDragons) February 28, 2019