On the trail of greener energy sources

2nd May 2008 at 01:00
Primary pupils in Edinburgh and the Lothians have been powering up to save energy and learn how to reduce their carbon footprint through a series of workshops hosted in a Powerpod in their playgrounds
Primary pupils in Edinburgh and the Lothians have been powering up to save energy and learn how to reduce their carbon footprint through a series of workshops hosted in a Powerpod in their playgrounds.

The energy-efficient trailer was created by young people involved in the Woodcraft Folk youth educational organisation in Edinburgh to provide information on science and technology, with a strong emphasis on sustainable and renewable energies and the environment.

Funding for the trailer came from the Scottish Executive's Sustainable Action Fund, with further money for a peer education programme from the Big Lottery Fund. This has helped pay for Sara MacLennan, the Woodcraft Folk education and development officer, who facilitates the school-based workshops.

She has been developing a programme aimed at many of the scientific requirements of the 5-14 curriculum and A Curriculum for Excellence.

The workshops include games on energy and climate change; activities on reducing carbon dioxide emissions and energy use, such as a bike exercise to demonstrate the energy required to power one lightbulb; the opportunity to build a climate change tree; collaborative working to design a wind turbine; and creating a solar-powered circuit.

Ms MacLennan has also devised a programme for training peer educators - from within the visited schools and other volunteers, including some of the originators of the Powerpod - to help deliver workshops.

"I feel the most exciting part is that it is young people who are working together, teaching other young people.

"It definitely enables and encourages the peer educators on the route to becoming confident individuals, successful learners, responsible citizens and effective contributors, central to the Curriculum for Excellence," says Ms McLennan.

- The Powerpod is now on tour and available at no charge to Scottish schools. The volunteers, who are all young people, are trained to provide workshops suitable for groups of 15-20 from age six upwards.

www.edinburgh-powerpod.org.

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