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Class acts

  • May 31, 2012
  • 495 words
  • 2 minutes
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From broadcasting key energy tips during the morning announcements to inventing a green product, nearly 12,000 students from across Canada learned about energy awareness during the Classroom Energy Diet Challenge (CEDC).

The three-month contest, which ended in March, challenged students and teachers to become more energy-aware by earning points as they completed up to 25 tasks, with the opportunity to win big prizes at the end.

The Top School Prize was awarded to Duncan Cran Elementary School in Fort St. John, B.C., where vice-principal and science teacher Christine Todd single-handedly spearheaded the CEDC efforts. By involving all 250 students, the school won $3,000 to throw a school party, purchase school supplies and donate to a charity of its choice.

Todd’s enthusiasm helped to build an energy-saving culture within the school. “It allowed for hands-on, projectbased learning, which they really enjoyed,” says Todd. “It got their attention. They realized that, regardless of their age, they can make a change.”

Blossom D’Souza’s grade-one class (above) at The Divine Infant Catholic School in Scarborough, Ont., won the Most Points Prize. The class received $1,500 to hold a class party, buy classroom school supplies and donate to a charity of its choice.

“The students learned the whole concept of saving energy,” says D’Souza, “and are so much more aware than before.”

One hundred and forty classrooms reached the minimum of 30 points and were entered into a draw to win a SMART Board 885ix interactive whiteboard system. Alaina Aylward’s grade two/three class at St. Mark’s School in King’s Cove, N.L., won at the elementary level and Michael De Santis’ grade-10 class at Vancouver Technical Secondary School won at the secondary level.

The other stream of the CEDC was a video contest, in which the student entrants were to create a public service announcement to increase energy awareness. The winners were Suzanne Archibald’s grade three/four class at Keswick Ridge School in Keswick Ridge, N.B., at the elementary level and Adrienne Longworth’s grade six/seven class at Sir William Osler School in Vancouver at the secondary level. Both grand-prize winners were awarded a $2,000 gift card for classroom technology to support school learning.

The CEDC is a partnership between the Royal Canadian Geographical Society (RCGS) and Shell Canada to educate youth on energy awareness.

“The CEDC explores, in fun and meaningful ways, where our energy comes from, how it is used and how Canadians are addressing the energy challenge,” says Ashley Nixon, strategic relations manager at Shell Canada.

André Préfontaine, executive director of the RCGS and publisher of Canadian Geographic, says the CEDC provided a unique opportunity for students to think critically about the world and their place within it. “The CEDC clearly supports geographic education as the participating classes studied the impact of human activity on the environment.”

To learn more about the CEDC or to sign up for the next Challenge, visit energydiet. canadiangeographic.ca.

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