Light Bulb Moments Learning About Energy Efficiency

| By Cate Jessop (Enviroschools Facilitator) & Christine Daniel (Enviroschools Lead Teacher)

Facilitators up and down the motu have been holding regional clusters hui to develop the knowledge and share enthusiasm around the Energy! Theme area. Christine Daniel, a teacher from Sunnyhills School in Auckland and the schools’ facilitator, Cate Jessep, reflect on the experiential activities and learning that occurred as part of a unit on this theme.

Students check out the Live Lightly eco house

Years 5 & 6 at Sunnyhills School explored alternatives for energy efficiency and sustainability in our homes, and considered some big ideas like:

  • We use energy every day
  • Energy comes in many forms
  • Energy transforms
  • Where does electricity come from?
  • Our Changing Planet – Climate Change.

The students’ achievement objectives included a mix of maths, statistics and science.

Live Lightly (a collaboration between community groups, Auckland Council and partners) were kind enough to loan their model eco house which gave the students much inspiration!

We tested different light bulb efficiency, researched the pros and cons then debated which bulb was the best choice. See our video on our blog http://shsenvironmental.blogspot.com

The light bulb debate was vigorous to say the least. I wonder what changes in behaviour will happen in their classes and homes as a consequence” – Cate Jessep, Facilitator

Next we’re going to reflect on the things we do in our homes and school, and what action we can take to be more sustainable. Do you have solar panels? Your own Auckland Transport HOP card? What could you do in your own home to be more sustainable?

Years 5 & 6 came up with a stack of good suggestions (see image below)!

We used the information from the “Vector Being Sustainable With Energy” schools programme to share with the students. This award winning programme is offered free of charge to schools, it directly links to the NZ Curriculum, and it shares with children why energy is important and explores the exciting technologies / innovation in the energy space.

The Live Lightly equipment came at just the right time to lend to the unit and I intend to keep unpacking the Enviroschools Energy! Theme Area in the coming months. The Eco leaders are creating their own model eco house like Live Lightly’s, and the Energy! Theme Area has lots of useful activities we can connect back to this.

Next term, our enviro programme will be centred around taking action from all our learning over the year and very much focussed on our beehives which will be arriving in the next few weeks.

The Energy! Theme area is a useful action-learning resource for engaging student interest in exploring energy efficiencies.