In October, Energy Heroes will be ten years old.
From the initial Kid Power project, which involved working with 4 primary school classes in York, to the ambitious expansion plans of the current team, involving a minimum of two visits to each of 40 schools this year, Energy Heroes continues to go from strength to strength. Kid Power aimed to deliver a programme of lessons that used maths curriculum outcomes and also provided the nudge for families to engage with energy matters, which is still very much the premise of the Energy Heroes core programme today.
Vikki Pendry and Kate Gilmartin are the founders of the Energy Heroes programme.
Who else works in the Energy Heroes Team?
Lizzi Pell has worked alongside me for the last two years and takes on the Energy Expert role when we visit schools, explaining concepts, conducting the energy audit and answering the tricky questions! She also creates the all-important social media content, which promotes EH and helps us to extend our contacts in schools.
Look out for more stories to come, with an interview from each of our team members in future blogs
The Energy Heroes programme, not only offers free energy efficiency support to pupils and parents, but also engages important discussion around global warming and climate change. Over the last year, Lizzi and I have worked together to adapt the assembly presentation to include more detailed information about global warming, in response to climate anxiety.
“Climate change is causing distress, anger and other negative emotions in children and young people worldwide, a survey of thousands of 16- to 25-year-olds has found. This ‘eco-anxiety’ has a negative impact on respondents’ daily lives, say the researchers who conducted the survey, and is partly caused by the feeling that governments aren’t doing enough to avoid a climate catastrophe,” nature.com https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-02582-8
If we address this at a young age, we hope to alleviate some of this anxiety. We try to get a balance between warning of the dangers, suggesting ways to improve behaviours and not giving pupils all the reponsibility for the crisis!
This Year- successes and highlights
We have had another successful year, having delivered the programme to all thirty schools, as well as ten additional visits to deliver our exciting and in-depth Eco Club sessions and have grown our network of contacts to support future delivery.
Pupils from St Walburga’s completing an energy audit of their school buildings.
CEE Youth category award
In the New Year, members of the Energy Heroes team attended a prestigious event in City Hall in London, to take part in an award ceremony by Community Energy England. Much to our delight, we won the Youth category award!
Left to right: ShannonJackson, (Community Energy England), Vikki Pendry, Sue Abbott, Kate gilmartin, City Hall, 20.1.23.
What else has been a highlight this year?
Julie Lodge, Year 5 teacher and Eco Lead at Scissett Academy, booked me to work with her Eco Team to create an action plan for energy efficiency, which we developed into an assembly for the pupils to share with the rest of the school. Every part of the process was a collaboration between myself, the teacher and the pupils, who chose the action points, wrote the assembly script, helped develop the slides, drew the pictures and rehearsed their perfomance.
Example slide from Thornhill Eco Team’s assembly.
Rosy Ackroyd, Teacher and Eco Lead at Denby C/E Primary School, booked me to work with her Eco Team to plan and prepare a community event. Again, the pupils made the decisions and created the art work to support the event. On the day, we welcomed parents in to school to share what the children had been thinking about. They created a booklet called ‘Top 15 Tips to save energy at home’ and handed this out to parents and visitors.
They then got involved in choosing one action to pledge to try at home.
What next for Energy Heroes?
Next year, we are planning a major expansion, where we will increase the delivery from 30 to 40 schools and every school will receive two visits. In this way, we can not only reach more pupils and their families, but also work in more depth with all of our schools. The first visit will still include a whole school assembly, a Maths workshop and an energy audit and the second visit will include one team member working with a group of pupils and one working with adults in school to further promote energy savings in their buildings.
To book a visit from energy heroes, please use this online booking form- https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/bookinginfo