Conservation Through Investigation


Roberts Creek Elementary
  • Grade 7
Photo Essay (3–10 images)

Community Coach(es): 

Johan Stroman

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Our Grade 7 class has been learning about climate change and what we, in our small corner of the world, can do to help. We came up with 4 areas to investigate.

1. Energy use.  

Using Kill-a-watt meters, we measured the electrical consumption of various devices in the school.(fridges, microwaves, photocopiers, computer carts etc.) We took baseline data over a 3 day period. For example, our school has 3 refrigerators running constantly. One of them was basically empty. Over the 3 day period, this fridge used the electricity equivalent to running a 100 watt incandescent bulb for over 1000 hours...straight. Insane. (the fridge has now been emptied and unplugged.) 

We have installed Smartplugs to run off of our wifi. This will allow us to remotely shut off power to the computer carts at night, once they are finished recharging. 

2. Water  Consumption

We are currently investigating the water use in our school. Our water was tested for lead by Vancouver Coastal Health. We have been told that our water is fine, yet we are still flushing the pipes every morning. We calculated we run 28,000 litres of water down the drain each year. If all schools in our district are the same... that's 328,000 litres of water wasted. We are just waiting for confirmation from VCH before we take our findings to the board. 

3. Freezing Friday

To raise awareness about conservation we are planning a day where we will have the maintenance department turn the temperature in our school down by 3 or 4 degrees. That week we will have daily announcements around conservation and climate change. There will be prizes of LED light bulbs, portable solar panels, etc. for various contests for the day (tackiest sweater etc.)

4. Student and Parent Survey

On the Freezing Friday, the students will be conducting a survey they created online to find out about the knowledge and behaviours of the students and parents in our school regarding conservation and climate change. We will then analyze the findings to see what recommendations we can pass on to the families in our school. 

This project has been highly motivating for the students and, rather than just hearing about the doom and gloom, gives us all a sense of empowerment.