Educational Energy Box

Geographical location:

Europe/Middle-East > West Central Europe > Belgium

Energy box for the Walloon region
© WWF Belgium

Summary

WWF Belgium offers educational tools, presented in an energy box, to make school children aware of the different aspects of energy use. The energy box aims to educate school children, aged nine to fourteen years, about the function of energy by means of a game and a set of experiments that can be carried out in class. Furthermore these tools want to make the adults of tomorrow aware of the consequences for the earth and their own future and encourage them to choose for sustainable energy sources in their daily lives.

Background

Our planet's resources can be divided into renewable and non-renewable. The terms are self-explanatory. Coal, petroleum, minerals and natural gas are some examples of non-renewable energy sources. Wind, solar, hydro and geothermal are some examples of renewable ones. It stands to reason that we need to be judicious in our use of non-renewable resources as they will either finish if plundered or take very, very long to regenerate. Renewable resources, on the other hand, are limitless in their availability, and therefore it makes sense to develop technologies that will enable us to use more and more of them.

In the beginning we assumed that natural resources would last forever and never considered sustainable development. As resources depleted rapidly, we found ourselves needing to look at alternatives to fossil fuels and also at cutting down on our energy use.

Scientists and conservationists advocate on not just cutting down on energy use, but also exploring new and sustainable resources. Sustainability not just requires reducing our use of resources, it encompasses the ability to develop technologies to use resources properly, and the ability (financial, political, institutional and so on) to do so.

Conservation organisations have taken up the challenge and their efforts are bearing fruit. The development of green electricity and solar energy are just a few examples of the way we are coming to terms with the fact that sustainable development is key to our survival. Educating the next generations is an important component in evolving towards a sustainable future.

Objectives

- Educate youngsters about how they make use of energy in their daily lives.

- Create awareness for sustainable energy use.

Solution

A set of 20 experiments, accompanied by a guiding brochure and all required material is provided in the box, these experiments can be carried out in class. Children are educated by actively observing the principals of how sustainable energy works.

On top of that an energy game is developed to approach energy in a playful manner. This game enables the children to rethink their daily energy choices and work together to use the available energy in a rational manner.

The box is presented with a booklet for teachers to help them prepare the lessons, supporting the teachers with background information about energy and energy use which they can pass on to their pupils during the game and experiments.

Achievement

In 2003, only two weeks after sending the information brochures to schools in the Walloon region, 450 schools signed up to take part in the energy box project. Within these 450 schools the educational tools of the energy box reached 12,500 children. The demand for energy boxes appeared to be much bigger than the supply, therefore more boxes were duplicated and decisions were made to expand the project to Brussels and also the Flemish area. At this moment, the energy box is being translated into Dutch, enabling the project to be implemented in Flemish schools as well.

In 2004 a happening was organised around the energy-theme by a number of schools in the Walloon region.

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