District Highlights

Pedal Power: Students learn about generating their own electricity during SD42 Energy Challenge

Photo Caption: (from left to right): Alexander Robinson student Tristan Maas, District Alternate technology teacher Mike Schell and District Alternate student Saawan Nath.


It was a light-bulb-turning-on type of moment for a class of Grade 6/7 students at Alexander Robinson Elementary.

Earlier this month the students watched a live “pedal power” demo featuring a Pedal-A-Watt bicycle built by Connex student Saawan Nath with the help of classmates Brennen Demmitt, Nikko Parsons, Katea McLeod and Sean Kenny.

During the demonstration, students got a chance to hop on the bike and start pedaling, which created enough electricity to illuminate a light bulb. “Our students were super-excited about the demonstration and really curious about making that light bulb turn on,” said Alexander Robinson teacher Kathleen McKay.

The students quickly grasped the concept of pedal-generated power. “One boy said, ‘We’re taking our muscle power and transferring it into electricity!’” said McKay.

Steve Wiebe, principal of SD42 District Alternate and trades training programs, said converting a stationary exercise bike into Pedal-A-Watt bike capable of creating enough electricity to power small appliances was a great learning experience for his students.

“They felt great about sharing this project with the elementary students and doing their part for energy conservation and the environment. It was a very creative, hands-on project that taught the students about the principles of generating power.”

The pedal power demonstration was part of the Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows School District (SD42) annual month-long Energy Challenge that encourages elementary and secondary schools to save energy.

Alexandra Tudose, manager, energy and environmental sustainability, said last year’s SD42 Energy Challenge reduced electricity consumption by 35,000 kWh and 150 GJ, which is the equivalent of powering four homes for a full year.

“This initiative aims to raise awareness about energy conservation in schools by decreasing electricity and natural gas consumption. The energy savings will support our central purpose: student learning.”

Alexander Robinson Elementary is one of 11 schools that have signed up for this year’s challenge.

“We are participating in the SD42 Energy Challenge so we’re discovering alternate forms of energy. We’re looking at what can we do to save power and what can we do to make electricity out of different forms of power that we don’t use on daily basis,” said McKay.

To reduce energy consumption, McKay’s students have come up with three main initiatives: Blanket Days, Dark Days and No Plug-In Days.

McKay students says the students needed no encouragement coming up with ideas to tackle energy consumption. “Those were their initiatives. They are 100 per cent into it.”

Results from SD42’s Energy Challenge will be announced at the end of March.




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