By Celis Brisbin, Programs Manager
Thanks to the generous grant support form National Grid, through USGBC Massachusetts Chapter's Green Apple Day of Service mini-grant program, first graders at the Lee Academy learned more about simple ways we can reduce energy around the school. To get students thinking about electricity and energy use, an energy use assessment was taken in their classroom. They explored the area looking for things that were plugged in and had a discussion about the overhead lights. The students were excited to share their ideas of just what electricity is and where it comes from, as well as their own experiences at home when the lights went out.
After our initial assessment was complete, the students and classroom paraprofessionals took our learning outside to search for electrical wires and poles, where they connected, and what kinds of things run on energy in our own school yard. We followed wires from poles to school and counted the number of streetlights.
Back inside the science room, students observed a fan and pencil sharpener plugged into an outlet, and not plugged in. This helped generate some ideas of how we can turn things off. We all acted like robots powering down, copying the sudden stop of the fan and pencil sharpener. Students enjoyed powering down and it generated lots of conversation about things we can turn off and on at school and home.
This discussion naturally led to our final activity. Students discussed why it was important to “power down” and as a class generated wording for 3 types of signs that we make and place around the school. Students got to work designing their signs and once they are laminated, they will help hang them up around school. The hope is that they can show the signs to the K0-K1 students and let them know it is important to “power down” and “turn it off” when we leave rooms.