Stakeholders in a project
© North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) Energy Agency

Examples of integrating the "energy" topic into lessons

Important issues in an energy walkaround inspection (selection). Detailed check lists may be obtained from the NRW Energy Agency and Greenpeace (p. 4).
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Project phases

The most important prerequisite for a successful energy saving project is good cooperation between school principals, teachers, schoolchildren and caretakers, the latter occupying a key position due to their experience and responsibility for the school building. 

In the initial phase those involved (Fig. 5) must develop their individual project from a large number of possible ideas and concepts. Important questions to be clarified are: What is a realistic goal with respect to our school building within a reasonable period of time? What data are available? What measurements can be performed? How can the project be integrated into the lessons (Fig. 6)? Who can provide information or give expert advice on the spot? Where can measuring instruments be borrowed and is there a financial budget for small repairs? Is the governing body of the school prepared to make part of the energy costs available to the school for a specific purpose or for free disposal? Can parents or friends of the school provide assistance? It is particularly important to clarify these and other questions with the owner of the school building, the local authority, and the educational authority responsible in the initial phase.

As soon as all stakeholders have agreed on a concept, the implementation phase starts with an opening event. At this stage, the motivation of the other schoolchildren and teachers is of central significance. Among other things, it is important to present a “watertight” project idea in terms of content and organization. The following is given priority in this phase: What should cooperation with the individual classes look like? One possibility would be to elect two energy detectives per class. What working groups (e.g. measurement values, public relations, data processing) are on offer? Should a project day be prepared? How can interim results be presented to achieve long-term motivation? This could be done, for example, by means of a notice board, an information kiosk or a home page. The central task is an energy walk-around inspection through the building to discover weak points (Fig. 7) and the practical adoption of measures, such as a different airing behaviour, lowering the temperature in the corridors. Important in this phase is the regular exchange of experience both internally and externally.

A project is completed by the presentation phase, in which the results and experience inside and outside the school are presented and the successes celebrated with all those involved, e.g. at a school function. The energy working group takes stock: What has been achieved? How can you ensure that successful savings are maintained? What else would there be possible? Have we got an idea for a new project?

A school building is continually receiving new schoolchildren and teachers so that sustainable energy handling can be a topic at schools over a period of years.


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