Go green ‒ Climate protection at schools

05.02.2018

One year after the official launch of the project, the way has been paved for the nationwide implementation of “ista schools in energy efficiency”. In 2018, the educational project will be rolled out in another 100 schools throughout Germany, turning the focus on the subject of “energy in schools”. Just in time for the New Year “ista schools in energy efficiency” received the KlimaExpo.NRW “pacemaker” award. The perfect time to look back on twelve exciting months and challenges to come.

As a main sponsor of the European Green Capital – Essen 2017, with the “ista schools in energy efficiency“ project ista set out to get children and young people enthusiastic about climate protection and energy efficiency and keep them interested. It very soon became evident that the pupils are totally committed to the school project on climate change and have great goals. At the start of the project Jason-Lee Gerhardt, a pupil at the Essen-Überruhr grammar school (GEÜ), explained: “We would like to make people aware of potential energy wastage. To do this, we are starting with ourselves and asking how we can change our behaviour in order to save energy.”

Energy subjects on the timetable

In July the school’s climate protection project “GEÜ goes green” was launched and featured in a report by the TV channel RTL. Throughout the entire school year, the pupils identified energy-saving potential in the school building and developed measures to reduce the school’s energy consumption. At the official launch of the project, politicians and representatives from industry answered pupils’ questions – among them Christian Noll, deneff Board member and supporter of the project. His conclusion: “climate protection and energy efficiency belong on the timetable and ‘ista schools in energy efficiency’ shows how to do it.”
For some months now, teachers and pupils in the schools taking part in the project have been able to see the latest daily consumption figures on an information screen and so they are being sensitised to the more responsible and sustainable use of energy. “ista schools in energy efficiency” not only creates the technical requirements for transparent energy management in the schools but also helps pupils to evaluate the data from this climate protection project on energy conservation.

From answering environmental questions to the climate box

Pupils and teachers have long got the measure of the energy guzzlers and can give a whole load of tips on simple ways to save energy. In workshops ista employees turned the pupils into real energy detectives who know what is important when it comes to sustainable energy saving: anybody who leaves the window ajar while the heating is on wastes a lot of heat and therefore also energy, so the pupils of Borbeck girls grammar school know: close the window or turn off the heating. Headmistress Jutta Reimann is also delighted: “The workshops were a great hit with the girls. The discussions with the energy experts were a fantastic change from everyday school. The pupils now know how they can save energy in the school and I’m sure they will try out some of the ideas at home.”

After training pupils of the Holsterhausen grammar school in Essen thoroughly as energy experts, ista asked them to develop the first prototype of a climate box. The pupils can use the climate box to play an active role in protecting the climate and tackling energy issues – for example by using the measuring equipment in the box to identify energy weak spots in the school building or by implementing their own climate protection concepts for their school with the aid of innovative learning materials. The pupils put the contents together themselves. A great honour. Pupil Linda Fiene thinks so, too: “We tested all the measuring equipment and materials in the box and only chose what we ourselves love.” The climate box is part of a nationwide education initiative that ista implemented in 2018 together with the non-profit association, BildungsCent. Schools throughout Germany can apply after the summer holidays for one of the 100 climate boxes and und so bring the subjects of energy, climate change and climate protection to their school.

Pacemaker for active climate protection project

The many different school projects are all pursuing one common goal: greater climate protection and energy efficiency in schools. The work of the project courses is not finished yet; more ideas for more sustainable and more energy-efficient schools are being developed and implemented. But one thing is already certain: “ista schools in energy efficiency” is getting climate protection in schools moving. This is also demonstrated by the KlimaExpo.NRW award which recognises the project’s commitment to education in climate protection and is at the same time motivation for future project work. If you would like to keep following the project, the Facebook page “ista schools in energy efficiency” will give you exciting insights.