Glenroy Energy Savers

By John Dent, Principal, Glenroy Public School

Students from Glenroy Public School have been involved in a state wide program sponsored by the NSW Department of Education and Communities called Climate Clever Energy Savers.  Over a ten week period the students have been exploring energy in their Science lessons and working out ways that they can save the school using excessive energy.

Last week two classes conducted a light audit of the school and found that the school has over 400 fluorescent tubes.  The students enjoyed using Lux meters during the audit. The Lux meter measures the light in rooms and helps to determine how many lights need to be turned on to give optimum lighting.  A classroom needs a minimum of 240 lux (one lux is a unit of measurement of one candle).  The students also measured the temperature of rooms using hand held laser type guns that give accurate readings of surface temperature.  The coordinator Owen Dunlop said that the students found using the meters highly engaging and they enjoyed the practical aspect of a real life mathematics program.

The students are now going to work out ways that may help to reduce the school’s energy bill by various programs including installing timers, switching lights off at lunchtime and lifting blinds and awnings on sunny days. The classes can put a proposal to a regional panel for up to $1000 to help them find ways to reduce electricity consumption.

As Principal, I have found that we spend more than we would like on electricity. Our electricity costs do not include heating so if the students can come up with ways of saving energy and helping the environment that would be great.  One student even asked if the money saved could be spent on sports equipment which I think would be a great motivation.

Glenroy Public School is keen to use the most modern technology to assist it to minimize costs and increase the expertise of teachers.  Owen Dunlop is leading teachers in professional development.  This will in turn directly assist us to cater for our students’ needs hurtling into the 21st century.  Climate Clever Energy Savers is conducted in tandem with other Science programs in the school.

The challenge is out there now for two classes to come up with innovative solutions to reduce electricity, save the school money, help our planet and have more fun in the playground with new equipment.