Going an hour without power, calculating your carbon footprint, and teaching your family how to use less water. These are just a few of the 16 energy-related challenges that more than 27,000 students from across Canada took part in during the 8th annual Classroom Energy Diet Challenge. In just three months, students saved more than 417,000 litres of water, kept 316,269 plastic bags from entering our landfills, and managed to go nearly 4,000 hours without power. This award-winning program, presented by Canadian Geographic Education and Shell Canada, was created to inspire grades K to 12 students across Canada to better conserve energy.
The Classroom Energy Diet Challenge runs for 12 weeks, during which students are asked to complete various challenges to learn about energy and how they can use it more responsibly both in the classroom and out of the classroom with their friends, family and community. To be eligible for prizes, classrooms have to complete at least three challenges. This year, 1,374 classrooms participated in the Challenge, making 2019 the best year since the program’s inception!
We are proud to announce this year’s winners of the Classroom Energy Diet Challenge. Here are the winners for each point level:
Point level prize winners:
16 challenges completed ($2,500):
Energy Efficient Eagles, Errol Village Public School, Camlachie, Ont. This class has won $2,500 and a $500 charitable donation on their behalf.
15 challenges completed ($2,000):
HNPN, Holy Name of Jesus Catholic School, Hornepayne, Ont.
10 challenges completed ($1,500):
Mr. Rawson's Class, Springdale P.S., Scarborough, Ont.
5 challenges completed ($1,000):
Classe 7D, École secondaire Gabriel-Dumont, London, Ont.
Video challenge winners:
One of the challenges requires students to get a little more creative about raising energy conservation awareness. Students are asked to write, direct and produce a one-minute public service announcement about the importance of energy. The videos are then uploaded to the contest website for the public to vote on and the winners are chosen through a combination of public voting and a panel of judges. Here are this year’s winners:
Best video—elementary ($1,500): Gillis Green Team, Cresthaven Public School, North York, Ont.
Best video—secondary ($1,500): socials 9, Ideal Mini School, Vancouver, B.C.
Most unique ($1,000): MT's Trash Talkers, Mother Teresa School, Saskatoon, Sask.
Best comedy ($1,000): 8G, Jack Chambers Public School, London, Ont.
Most public engagement ($1,000): Grade 8, Ottawa Jewish Community School, Ottawa, Ont.
Energy Educator of the Year:
Each year, the Classroom Energy Diet Challenge also recognizes the hard work of the teachers whose dedication and creativity brings the program into classrooms, schools and communities across Canada. The Energy Educators of the Year are nominated by their peers and students, and then the staff at Canadian Geographic Education and Shell Canada select two award winners, who each receive a $500 prize and a plaque.
Cathy Dykstra, Kortright Hills Public School, Guelph, Ont.
“Mrs. Dykstra is passionate about the environment and works hard to share her passion with others. The amount of time she dedicates outside of regular school hours to her students and her environmental passions is second to none. Mrs. Dykstra is more than a teacher. She’s a mentor who has inspired myself and many other students to work hard to make a difference on our planet. She has made school a positive life experience and she has inspired me to be aware of the earth and engaged in community.”
—nominated by: Sara Judson, Grade 7 student at Kortright Hill Public School
Nicole O’Reilly, Bert Bowes Middle School, Fort St.John, B.C.
“Nicole is one of the rare gems that we stumble upon in schools who takes on projects that are above and beyond the typical classroom setting. She doesn’t just educate her students about energy literacy, helping them understand the nature and role of energy in their daily lives, she immerses them in finding solutions to the big problems we face by encouraging them to ask questions and find solutions to the problems.”
—nominated by: Susan McGarvey, Education Coordinator, Northern Environmental Action Team