The Naturesave Trust contributed towards the Energy Sparks project, teaching primary pupils in Bath and North-East Somerset about energy and empowering them to take action to make their schools and homes more energy efficient.
An innovative website takes data from schools’ Smart Meters and produces easy-to-read pupil-friendly charts showing their gas and electricity consumption. The website also provides guidance and suggestions for potential energy-saving activities that schools can run with accompanying online resources. Schools earn points for recording activities across five energy related categories. Pupils can compete against other schools to be top of the Energy Sparks scoreboard, therefore providing an incentive for schools to maintain their energy-saving activities.
As part of the FREE support package, the Energy Sparks team have visited participating schools to introduce the project to pupils and staff. The visits cover learning about different ways energy is generated and their impact on the environment; learning about electric and gas appliances around the school and how much energy they use; understanding changes in the school’s gas and electricity use over the year by reviewing the school’s energy data on Energy Sparks; and introducing pupil-led investigations and monitoring activities such as switching off lights in empty classrooms, and measuring classroom temperatures. Since the project launch, Energy Sparks has provided participating schools with fortnightly newsletters guiding teachers and pupils through a selection of Energy Sparks activities, and highlighting best practice. The Energy Sparks team are also supporting schools with low-cost changes to school heating controls in order to minimise out of hours energy wastage.
Feedback from pupils and staff has been positive: “The Energy Sparks website is very easy to use and the children have found it interesting to measure how energy is used differently in different parts of the school. They are really motivated by the competitive element too. The project has been very successful in our school in engaging children in thinking carefully about how we use energy. We hope that the project continues next year.” Warrick Barton, Headteacher. Pensford Primary School. “Energy Sparks is amazing. It is great to find out how much electricity and gas our school uses and how much we can save. It has made me more confident at understanding graphs. The activities encourage us to work as a team, and have more of an impact.” Pupils at Freshford C of E Primary School. “In future, we hope to extend Energy Sparks to more schools nationally. For further information contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
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