Energy saving as a lifestyle: the history of SPARE project development in grammar school No. 2 of Vladivostok

Author: Elena Perederieva, biology teacher, environmental adviser in grammar school No. 2 in the city of Vladivostok

Can one person affect the environment around the world? Have you thought about this question? It turns out that it is possible! Using simple techniques at home you can really reduce the level of human impact on our nature.

For more than ten years the families of our pupils have been participants of the all-Russian SPARE project. For many of them energy saving has become a part of their lifestyle.

Project beginning

The pupils of grammar school No. 2 in the city of Vladivostok got acquainted with the project of energy saving in 2008 having presented their works for the first time in the regional competition “Energy and Habitat”.

Energy saving is an amazing space for creativity combining the foundations of many sciences: ecology, economics, physics, chemistry, mathematics and many others.

It is possible to design unusual ideas as a poster or a booklet, a research work or a real energy-saving installation putting your knowledge into practice, for example, determining the amount of fuel saved and carbon dioxide not released into the atmosphere. For many years the best works of the pupils of our grammar school have been presented at the open regional competition “Energy and Habitat”. The authors of many projects obtained prizes at the all-Russian stage of the competition.

SPARE school

In 2009, as a result of practical energy-saving actions the families of schoolchildren determined their energy consumption at home and found ways to save energy.

Participants completed practical work timed to coincide with the International Energy Saving Day. As a result of the project, about a hundred families of the pupils were able to prevent the release of about 933 kg of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. For achievements in energy saving the staff of our grammar school accepted the title of SPARE school.

Energy saving decade

The Energy saving decade is a bright event in the life of our grammar school which annually involves new families of pupils in practical actions for the rational use of energy.

Every year about fifty families of schoolchildren of 4-8 grades take part in this event. Traditionally in the grammar school the decade begins on November 11, in the Energy Saving Day. This social action has been held for over ten years.

During this time, conversations and opinion polls on energy saving take place at school. Pupils have the opportunity to share their own ways to save energy at home. They present stories or poems on this subject.

During the decade, the teachers of the grammar school give author's lessons for their classes on subjects related to climate change and energy efficiency. For example, in different years I have given such lessons as: “Climate change”, “Save the energy!”, “How to change our ordinary apartment into the eco-house!”, “Climate plan”. I prepared them specifically for the Energy saving decade.

Some of these classes were presented in the form of open lessons at professional skill competitions and master classes in the cities of Ussuriysk and Vladivostok.

Many things have changed over the past ten years. In the early years of participation in the project, we carried out opinion polls in the hall of the grammar school, and now we can quickly do it with the usage of digital application.

In 2010 and 2011, pupils of grammar school No. 2 run the campaigns on Pervorechenskaya Square in the city of Vladivostok. Schoolchildren handed out leaflets to citizens on the subject “Save energy!”. With the expansion of opportunities for communication in social networks, the best videos are posted on the grammar school Instagram page.

The posters on energy saving could be seen at the school exhibition, and then at the exhibition at the Vladivostok City Palace of Children's Creativity. For several years, the best works of pupils have been placed on pocket calendars which are published by “Dalpress JSC”. It has always been a matter of great joy for the family of the schoolchild, author of the drawing, and the teachers.

Social activity

The pupils of the grammar school shared their ideas on energy saving at home and using alternative energy sources with a vast audience. These were speeches at seminars and projects defense at competitions.

Interviews with the schoolchildren participating in SPARE project were published in the media (the newspaper “Fresh Wind of Primorye”). Volunteers, senior pupils of our grammar school, gave energy saving classes to younger pupils and preschoolers in kindergarten. Our schoolchildren took part in the All-Russian campaign “Energolenta” and “Earth Hour”.

Climate plan

Since 2019, in our grammar school there is the Eco-Council consisting of senior pupils creating a Climate Plan.

At the seminars held by the coordinator of the SPARE project in the Far Eastern Federal District (Galina Chan) the schoolchildren learned how to conduct a simple energy audit at school and schemed their work on developing a Climate Plan. Members of the Eco-Council prepared a special inquiry form for each part of the Climate Plan: Saving electricity and heat in the rooms; Disposal of the solid waste; Purchasing; Transport use; Paper finishing; Water saving.

By means of inquiry forms, we found the reserves for the rational use of energy and resources in each direction. This information served as the basis for writing six projects by schoolchildren in the nomination “Practical Energy Saving” of the competition “Energy and Habitat” and preparing the Climate plan for the school.

We prepared practical recommendations for schoolchildren families about energy saving at home.

Over the next year, the Eco-Council plans to reduce CO2 emissions by 1200 kg in schoolrooms and by families of students.

For many years of participation in the all-Russian SPARE project, at our school there have been a lot of  school leavers for whom energy saving has become an everyday lifestyle.

Perhaps some of our graduates will continue to seriously deal with this problem moving from the School's Climate Plan to the level of international cooperation for preventing the consequences of global warming in their professional field.



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