QBMS students impress with their green initiatives

Qualicum Beach Elementary School takes the environment seriously

A classroom energy diet challenge put on by Canadian Geographic has motivated Qualicum Beach Middle School (QBMS) to lessen their carbon footprint.

The contest to increase awareness and knowledge about energy use among Canadian students had several challenges including creating a video to encourage people to reduce their energy consumption.

In February and March  students worked together to complete a variety of energy saving challenges which has resulted in less garbage going into the landfill and more items being recycled and composted.

Best of all, two student video projects entered in the video challenge came in the top 50 in Canada and won the school two flip video cameras.

Some of the challenges included designing an energy saving logo, calculating your carbon footprint and giving up electronic games for a week.

One  challenge had students go on a search for phantom power (standby power) sources around their classroom.

They had to identify and map the energy culprits and implement ways to reduce  phantom energy use.

The main objective was to help students understand the concept of phantom power and to ensure that students learn ways to reduce phantom power consumption.

Students worked together to complete a variety of energy saving challenges and then submitted them to the Canadian Geographic website and gain points. Those who reached 30 points had their names put into a draw for prizes.

A variety of Grade six, seven and eight classrooms participated in the challenge but principal Darren Freeman informed school district trustees that the project really snowballed.

“The neat thing is … this project just took over the whole school and students were fully involved,” said Freeman.

Two classrooms entered  a  challenge in which students worked together to create a one minute video  promoting energy saving.

The creative videos had an energy-wise message presented in a  humorous way.

A small group of Grade eights worked as peer tutors helping the Grade six and seven classes with downloading, converting and editing video files.

They also did a garbage inventory sort to show the rest of the school what was going into the landfill versus what could be recycled

Teacher/Librarian Cheryl Cameron who helped organize the project is currently taking home the compost now being collected.  Students hope that eventually all schools in the district will be on a compost collecting program.