Energy Local

EcoWeek

A week of 10 inspiring sessions for local primary schools.

Two hour sessions consisting of three varied and engaging sessions which introduce pupils to the subject of sustainable energy in a vivid and active way. Pupils can also also enjoy a picnic and play on site or study something that their teacher initiates if their timetable allows. Ecoweeks are run bi-annually in the summer to benefit from the hope of better weather (!) and we use the infrastructure which is needed for our summer Public Open Days to provide marquees for shelter and on site toilets. These are luxuries we do not usually have and expands considerably the kind of activities we can undertake.

Each pupil attends three short sessions on different topics.

We use our own team of guides and employ some local artists.

Examples of previous activities

  • Chris Parks, an environmental artist, built an Ecoden with the pupils starting from a stick in the ground and a piece of string and finishing with roofing it. The whole structure was built with natural materials with the pupils who put on the mud daub having the most exciting time of all! It remains on site and is very popular with small children having been built to make it virtually impossible for a large adult to enter it.
  • Sue, a visual artist, decorated cotton snackbags with symbols of different renewable energy sources and then we used them as bunting to decorate the marquee before sending them back to pupils who receive them with a healthy snack recipe inside. Another year she made plaster models of hands holding a symbol representing different renewable power sources
  • We drew a settlement with houses, shops, schools, churches etc to show how many houses the whole site could power and displayed it at the Open Day
  • We always give them a short introduction to the turbine, explaining how they work, measuring sound and wind speeds, telling them about how they were constructed and encouraging them to experience them fully via touch and observation
  • We show them the solar park and then, using a solar powered electric train and solar powered plastic bugs, explain to them to how the sun can produce electricity.
  • We also invite children to observe the crops and wildflowers flourishing on site and to observe any birds, insects or fossils that they might discover during their visit.
  • We explain how much power is generated on site contrasting that with other methods of energy production in terms of scale and impact on the environment.
  • We have also worked with STEM ambassadors who, using their specialist knowledge, explain something more detailed about the engineering, use of specialist materials, movement of energy in a circuit etc. We very much appreciated this input and the opportunity to demonstrate to pupils what exciting careers are available in scientific, technological, engineering and mathematical fields.

We finish with a whole group session reviewing what has been discovered. We play a game what explores which actions we personally take that can help or damage the environment. Teachers go back with packs for use in follow up work.

registered charity no. 1158820

Wind farm location: Westmill Wind Farm, Watchfield, Swindon, SN6 8TH - beside A420 and off B4508