"Now at last I know what I want to be: a solar technician", declares a delighted pupil of the secondary school on the Inzeller Weg in Munich. A Green City team is currently visiting seventh- and eighth-grade classes at the school with its "Energy for the Future" workshop. Within the framework of a three-day teaching project, workshops are held on such subjects as "Climate Change and its Impacts", "Energy Preservation in Daily Life" or "Professions in the Field of Renewable Energies". Armed with infra-red cameras, the pupils comb their school in search of thermal bridges. As they discuss the question of correct insulation it quickly becomes clear that the subject of energy conservation has many facets. On a visit to an engineering guild that rounds off the programme on the third day, the young students learn about career opportunities offered in the field of renewables. Project leader Gaby Kourkgy from Green City is pleased when girls also show an interest in professions such as energy consultant or solar technician, and occupy themselves with the subject of sustainability when they have finished school.
How do "sunshine ravioli" taste? Can you make pasta without using electricity? The "Sun-full of Energy" module provides the younger pupils with answers, resolving many questions on the subject of energy and cutting down power consumption with practical demonstrations. Last year, over 1000 primary school pupils between eight and twelve years assumed the role of young energy researchers and pursued their tasks with great fervour. After all, there was a lot to be discovered. The Green City environmental teams had come equipped solar cookers, electricity consumption meters and a power bike. The gear was used to carry out experiments, perform research and make new discoveries – and all just in the daily use of electricity. The children were able to work up a sweat on the power bike and gain a physical impression using their own body of how much energy is required to bring water to the boil. At the end of the project, the children were rewarded with "sunshine ravioli" made on a solar cooker.
In 2013, the new "Your Energy School – Add Power and Warmth to the Curriculum" module was added to the programme. This module is aimed as a further training course at the teaching staff of secondary and intermediate schools. Teachers are given recommendations and material on how to implement the subject of energy efficiency at school according to the age group of the classes. This teaching aid makes it easier for them to naturally and smoothly integrate the subject of energy conservation into the daily curriculum.
For almost ten years now, Green City e.V. has been working in the area of environmental education, offering children a wide range of illustrative and practical environmental projects. The "Energy School Munich" reached a total of 1300 Munich schoolchildren and adolescents in 2013 – a huge success for the environmental organisation and for us as the funding organisation. As we all know, the development of energy-sensitive behaviour at an early age paves the way for living a responsible life in the future. Something we will all benefit from.
CB, 4 December 2013