Workshop Opens Student’s Eyes to Phantom Energy Users

Released: 2/28/2014
Source: Diane Crocker, The Western Star

Ben King has been going around his home lately looking for users of phantom energy.

“Anything with like a little light on it or a clock,” said the Grade 9 student at G.C. Rowe Junior High.

Things like coffee makers and curling irons.

“If you have it plugged in it uses a little bit of energy. Not its full amount, but a little bit to power that light or clock,” he said.

“So, if you leave it plugged in it’s drawing a little bit of energy all the time.”

King learned about phantom energy and how to reduce energy consumption as part of a Learning for a Sustainable Future presentation at his school last week.

Angela Kielbowski, is the project co-ordinator with the national non-profit organization.

“We seek to bring sustainability education, also known as education for sustainable development, into the curriculum across Canada from kindergarten to Grade 12,” she said after a day of giving student presentations.

She said education for sustainable development is an approach to learning which seeks to ensure that students have the knowledge, skills, values, perspectives and attitudes necessary to ensure a sustainable future.

It’s through its youth engagement focus that the organization offers workshops to students on topics that include waste, water use and electricity.

“We give them the chance to sort of be active citizens or stewards of their community and their environment,” said Kielbowski.

“So, they learn about issues, they learn why it’s important and they find out ways that they can take action in their community by making a change.”

Learning for a Sustainable Future conducted 14 workshops in the city with students in Grades 4-9 last Tuesday to Thursday.

The workshops covered four topics — electricity conservation, making reusable bags, the benefits of local food and strategic planning on how to take on action in your community and make a change.

On Friday, the group ran a workshop with teachers in the western division of the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District to show them how they can authenticate students learning on a daily basis and infuse hands on principles into their teaching practice, not as an add on, but as a way to explore learning.

The sessions in the city also provided an opportunity for the organization to train a local supply teacher with the board, Corinne Brett, to become a facilitator. Brett will repeat the workshops for the board with 10 more planned for this spring and 14 for next year.

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