On Thursday 5th and Friday 6th November, Emlyn Cullen from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland ran workshops for all classes from Senior Infants to 5th Class on energy conservation.
Younger children were introduced to Guzzler (the puppet) who loves to waste energy. Through a series of games and activities they learned about where our energy comes from, the importance of saving energy and the various ways in which they can save energy. The children explored how their food gets its energy and how the energy from their food is used to make their bodies work; they investigated how our clothes can be used to keep heat in our bodies and how moving around can help them to generate heat; through various games and activities, they learned that light, sound, heat and electricity are forms of energy; and they also heard about some of the ways that Guzzler wastes energy and were encouraged to tell “Guzzler” about different ways that we (and he) can save energy. Guzzler had some fantastic young teachers!
Senior children discussed renewable and non-renewable sources of energy, the role of CO2 in climate change and the things they can do to save energy. Emlyn then led a number of science experiments on the theme of energy, calling on various children to assist with the demonstrations and encouraging the whole class to make predictions on their outcomes and to analyse and interpret results. Using bouncing balls, he showed the conversion of kinetic energy to sound, heat and vibration; using Newton’s Cradle, the children examined forces and the laws of motion in action; and using potato batteries, they investigated the conversion of chemical energy to electrical energy. Emlyn then split the class into teams to play Guzzler’s Energy Challenge Game, where teams answered questions based on the energy topics covered in the earlier parts of the workshop.
The workshops were both interesting and interactive. Guzzler’s Energy Challenge Game proved very competitive and enjoyable. On behalf of the school, we would like to thank Emlyn and SEAI for helping to develop our understanding of energy conservation.