Energizing Students for Greater Energy Savings
Energy is the second largest expenditure in American schools. Managing energy use in a school setting is difficult without having students, faculty, and staff engaged and actively participating in a management program. This presentation will serve as the steppingstone for how to conduct one’s own educational energy audit in their classroom and school building. The hands-on investigations turn the school building into a living laboratory to explore energy efficiency, monitor energy use, and decide on the best behavioral changes based on data collected. The lessons introduce students to the concepts of energy, energy consumption, economic and environmental effects of the energy industry and its consumers, and the difference between conservation and efficiency. Activities encourage the development of cooperative learning, math, science, comparison and contrast, public speaking, and critical thinking skills. By engaging students in an energy management program, you have hundreds of enthusiastic mini energy managers ready to help identify things like broken water fountains, leaky doors or windows, inappropriate lighting use, vampire loads, and unwanted temperature variations within their own building. Students take ownership of their school and take better care of it while leading their peers to be conscientious users of energy. They learn these skills to bring back to their home and community.
Takeaways: Attendees will learn hands-on activities that introduce students to the ways in which we use energy in the home and at school while helping teach students to take ownership and lead their peers to be conscientious users of energy.
Cori Nelson (The NEED Project: Manassas, VA), Sharon Bird (The NEED Project: Manassas, VA)