5 Sep 13

Hartlepool students win national sustainability competition

A team of students from Dyke House School in Hartlepool has been selected as joint winners of ‘The Big Energy Project’, a national sustainability competition.

The Big Energy Project, developed by EDF Energy and children's charity The Transformation Trust, has seen teams of Key Stage 3 students from 16 schools across the country run their own energy efficiency campaigns over a six-week period. The initiative, run for the first time this year, aims to encourage a change in behaviour towards energy saving as well as helping students develop key competencies such as teamwork, problem-solving, enterprise and leadership skills.

As part of the project, each participating school was invited to submit their students’ most effective campaign to a panel of judges. Entries were assessed against criteria such as environmental impact, creativity and measurable changes in behaviour, with two schools selected as joint winners: Dyke House School in Hartlepool and South Shields School in Tyne and Wear.

Dyke House School’s ‘Does IT make a difference?’ campaign saw 10 Year Nine students create an internal competition to encourage their peers to save energy by switching off lights and electrical equipment when not in use. The students delivered assemblies to each year group, creating posters and videos to demonstrate the impact of climate change as well as creating spreadsheets of the amount of electricity that the school was using.

Sally Cottrell, EDF Energy’s Community Investment Manager, said: “We’re delighted to announce Dyke House School as joint-winners of the Big Energy Project. The judging panel were really impressed with the students’ campaign, which engaged more than 900 young people in the topic of sustainability.

“We developed The Big Energy Project with The Transformation Trust as part of EDF Energy’s ongoing commitment to encourage young people to make a measurable difference in their community in regards to energy efficiency, and this project is a fantastic example of what can be achieved.”

As winners of the Big Energy Project, students from Dyke House School have been awarded an all-expenses-paid trip to London, which includes a visit to the Royal Institution’s L’Oreal Young Scientist Centre and a trip on the EDF Energy London Eye. The students will also get to visit EDF Energy’s London office to learn more about careers in science and engineering.

Chris Hall, Head of Science at Dyke House School, said: “Our students are really pleased to have won The Big Energy Project and we are very proud of them. The initiative focused their engagement with science, encouraging them to learn about electricity generation and electrical safety as well as energy efficiency in school and at home. The campaign also allowed the students to develop their IT skills, as they made creative videos and posters to support their ‘switch off’ message. The pupils are excited for their trip to London and getting involved in hands-on experiments at the Royal Institution.”

Amy Leonard, Chief Executive of The Transformation Trust said, “We are delighted that the Big Energy Project has enhanced learning at Dyke House School and helped students to build new skills for their future. As a children's charity our mission is to offer enriching activities that will help students develop and discover hidden talents and interests. We have been inspired by the creativity and depth of thinking demonstrated by students taking part in The Big Energy Project and look forward to offering this activity to more schools in the future.”

The Big Energy Project is one of several initiatives that EDF Energy runs with schools. The Pod (jointhepod.org), EDF Energy’s flagship environmental education programme, now has over 17,000 registered schools and has engaged with more than 10 million students since its launch in 2008.

ENDS

For more information contact the EDF Energy press office: Charlotte Mitchell: charlotte.mitchell@edfenergy.com 07875114872.