Students at J.S. Woodsworth Senior Public School are conserving the volts

Students in a grade 7 class at J.S. Woodsworth Senior Public school have been challenging themselves to learn about energy use.

Linda Gutteridge’s grade 7 class is participating in the Canadian Geographic Energy Diet Challenge. Students complete challenges, including spending an hour each class with no power, to collect points and earn badges.

Gutteridge’s class has completed all 25 challenges, including Windy City and are currently tied in fourth place with 166 points.

“The students loved the Windy City as they got to go outside with their wind catchers and measure the wind speed on the school grounds,” Gutteridge said.

PrizesThe classroom with the most points win:

  • $500 for a class party.
  • $500 for classroom supplies.
  • $500 donation to the charity of their choice.

The school with the highest percentage of classrooms participating in the challenge will win:

  • $1,000 for a school party.
  • $1,000 for school supplies.
  • $1,000 donation to the charity of their choice.
The classrooms that have submitted the top 50 scripts for a video focused on reducing energy will win:

  • 50 4 GB minoHD Flip Video camera.

The classroom (one each in the elementary and secondary level) that has submitted the winning video will win:

  • $2,000 gift card for technology to support school learning.

The contest is for classrooms across Canada from kindergarten to grade 12.  It runs from Feb. 6 to March 30.  There is a video section of the contest where classes post videos about youth energy awareness and people vote on the best ones.

After coming across the competition in an issue of Canadian Geographic magazine in the school’s library, she said her students were intrigued by the idea.

“They were interested in doing the challenge because it looked fun to them and it was different from lessons they were used to,” Gutteridge said

Once a class reaches 30 points they are entered into the grand prize draw where they can win a SMART Technology interactive whiteboard for their classroom.

Ellen Curtis, an educational consultant for the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, which publishes Canadian Geographic, said the competition started when they partnered with Shell Canada.

“This is the first year that CEDC has happened and the success was far and above anything that we could have expected,” she said.

The competition was designed to make students aware of their energy use and change some of their habits.

“The variety of different topics that the classroom challenges covered, allowed students to discover small changes that they can make in their lives to have impacts on their energy use,” Curtis said.

The winner will be announced at the end of April.