Surrey students winners of 'Energy Oscars'
Move over, Ang Lee. Take a seat, Ben Affleck.
The students at Erma Stephenson and Dogwood Elementary schools created their own Oscar-worthy films, even if it was for the little-known “Energy Oscars.”
A showcase of two dozen films ranging in length from a minute to 90 seconds, the Energy Oscars was held Tuesday (Feb. 26) night at Erma Stephenson Elementary, where parents and students – some even dressed in Oscar-themed formal wear – walked the red carpet to the school library for the movie screenings. Awards were given to the top four films.
“Saving energy is something that’s in their world and within their grasp to do something about,” says Dogwood Elementary teacher Ray Warnock.
As part of its Workplace Conservation Awareness initiatives, the Surrey School District has appointed energy champions at schools to help promote a culture of conservation and sustainability. Warnock is Dogwood’s energy champion while his wife, Lisa Warnock, is in the same role at Erma Stephenson. They wanted to challenge their respective schools and came up with the Energy Oscars together.
“Lisa and I both like to use media and technology in the classroom, and this was a great way to incorporate it into the lessons.”
The schools developed their own video contest, dubbed “Power Less to Change Our Planet,” and spent the past several weeks encouraging their students to making green-themed videos. Each entry was recognized at the event; view the finalists online at http://www.power-less.com
The students’ initiative earned a nod from BC Hydro.
“Getting students involved in Power Smart and energy efficiency helps to build and foster conservation leaders in our communities,” said Lisa Coltart, Hydro’s executive director of Power Smart and customer care. “The students in Surrey are well on their way. Their use of creativity and innovation will help them inform their peers so we can all work towards a more sustainable future.”
The Energy Oscars marked the mid-point of the Surrey School District’s annual Energy Conservation Cup (ECC), which pits schools and the District Education Centre against each other in friendly competition to save the most energy.
Last year, schools had their cafeterias serve cold lunches to avoid firing up the ovens, held “Ugly Sweater Days” while turning down room thermostats, put on acoustic concerts over lunch and turned off as many lights as possible without jeopardizing student safety or inhibiting student learning.
The top two finalists from the ECC will move on to the energy competition finals April 15 to 19, with the victor getting bragging rights and the Energy Conservation Cup.
The Surrey Board of Education appointed a director of energy management and sustainability in 2010 and adopted an energy management conservation policy in 2011 with the goal of saving 10 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy by 2015. The district is on track to more than double the savings - to 23 million kWh, or enough to power 2,090 homes in Surrey for a year.