Energise a Generation

Spreading the energy efficiency message to children and their families in south Bristol through play-based activities

Project duration: January 2009 to January 2010

Intended to energise a generation of young children across South Bristol through a range of play-based activities, this project saw more than 250 youngsters and their families taking part and finding out about sustainability.

Energise a Generation was aimed at helping these young children – aged between four and 11 – and their families to learn about sustainable energy through sessions involving a range of different activities which included:

  • energy related circle and racing games
  • draught-snake making
  • making and testing solar-powered boats
  • making energy efficient homes
  • energy bingo

The children also used the sessions to talk about why it was important to keep warm in winter and save energy.

The sessions also allowed the groups involved to look at ways they could save energy and money, with staff from each group receiving training from CSE on the delivery of energy efficiency. This included receiving an energise action pack resource to use with the children.

After the final sessions the parents and carers were invited to discuss the work their children were doing and were also provided with a goody bag of energy saving ideas including: a low energy bulb, a power down, stickers and games.

Each group that took part also received a free solar resource, as used in the workshops, to get them started on the delivery of energy learning. This resource – which contained a booklet, a set of solar panels, motors and wires – can be used in a range of model making activities to introduce the groups to alternatives to batteries on a small scale, i.e. in toys.

The resource will also be useful to the groups in their work over the coming years with the children and their families by providing a starting activity to help them to promote sustainable energy in a fun and engaging way.

There were a total of 15 groups who received the workshops and training:

Abbey Wood Day Nursery Playscheme, Filton* | Abbey Wood Day Nursery Playscheme, Stockwood | Ashton Gate After-School Club | Brislington Neighbourhood After-School Club | Brislington Neighbourhood Playscheme | Hartcliffe Health and Environment Action Group | More4Kids @ Hannah More Primary School* | Oldbury Court (Under 8s) After-School Club | Oldbury Court (Over 8s) After-School Club | Peachy @ Connaught Primary School | Southville Centre After-School Club | St Anne’s Park After-School Club | St Teresa’s Energy Club | The Mede Community Centre After-School Club | Totterdown Community Children’s Workshops

Conclusions

The sessions showed the children were fully engaged in all the sessions, and many parents commented on the way the children returned home to switch off lights, televisions and computers left on standby.

One parent even commented: “So it’s you who has got [my child] bugging me to save energy. We have been turning off lights and TV’s all over the place, he even told his dad off for using the remote.” Such a response from children will certainly influence the consumption of energy within areas of deprivation.

In the long term the training and resource provided to the after-school groups guarantees continued success of the project in future years as play workers repeat the activities with the children and parents they work with.

Partners:

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