A community effort, the MCEC Education committee includes MCCSC Schools, Richland Beanblossom Schools, the Project School and Harmony School.
Marlin Elementary School teachers Angela Harding and Rachel Melnick started the Lights Out challenge, which teaches students math skills in addition to energy conservation. Now that spring is here and days are longer, classrooms, as well as staff offices, are striving to flip their lights off when they can and optimize the use of natural light.
Student Council members have been running the challenge, says Harding.
Students made “Lights Out” posters to post by light switches as energy-saving reminders. Students and staff record the minutes spent without the use of light bulbs. At the end of each week, student council members calculate and announce the amount of energy saved. While Marlin is focusing on working together to save as much energy as possible, there is a small competition between classrooms to see who can save the most. Many classes are getting into the spirit. Some classrooms have had students tape down the light switches and challenge themselves to use no lights at all.
If other schools are looking for an easy way to start promoting saving energy in their buildings, “Lights Out” is an easy way to get things rolling, says Harding. It is as simple as announcing the challenge to the school and creating a tracking sheet for students and staff to record minutes of “Lights Out.”
Schools play a vital part in the Energy Challenge. School buildings are big users of electricity and gas, paid for by taxpayers. Schools are also where our children learn about the world—and our world runs on electricity and gas. Understanding energy is an important part of their education. And when they come home? Your kids may even start turning out the lights when they leave the room, without you reminding them!
If you would like more information about this challenge or resources to get your school started feel free to email Angela Harding at firstname.lastname@example.org.