Are you ready for the Cool School Challenge?

pencil sharpener stunner


The Green Team kicked off our Cool School Challenge on Wednesday, March 5, with the goal of using less energy for a month. Twenty-eight “Cool Class” rooms are participating, including more than half of the grade-level classrooms, Mrs. Freeman’s music room, the library, the BNN studio, SACC, Workroom D, the front office, the counselors’ office and Mrs. Vanderhye’s office.

The week before the challenge started, Green Team members went into every room to assess its energy use and recommend energy-saving steps that could be taken for the month-long challenge. They used a Kill-A-Watt meter to figure out how much electricity was being used by various devices. Among their favorite discoveries:

  • A laptop computer uses 38 watts when it’s active, but if you “sleep” it when you aren’t using it, the wattage drops to 1.5 watts. Put it in hibernate and it uses 0.8 watts – the same as if it were off, but still plugged in. At least one teacher runs her laptop on its battery until it’s drained and then plugs it in.
  • The TVs used to tell time in almost every room of the building use 102 watts. The kids are keen to figure out how to get the school off the TV clocks, but so far their ideas are to build a giant sundial, create holograms, or make a giant sundial hologram. Hm.
  • All of the fluorescent tubes in the overhead lighting are 32 watts, but some classrooms have two switches. On sunny days, one bank of lights can be turned off.
  • The pencil sharpeners consume radically different levels of power. Fifth-graders Khalil and Mohammed (pictured above) were stunned to discover that their classroom’s sharpener uses about 90 watts when in use, compared to those in other classrooms that use only about 5.

This discovery has already led to change: The class now sharpens its pencils with this
hand crank pencil sharpener

and — BONUS! — plans to compost the shavings.


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Terri Lamb on March 17, 2014 at 8:30 am

    Great work Green Team! Show the facts and a viable solution and you can change the world or a school.


  2. I read this email out loud to our family. We enjoyed the statistics. Keep the findings coming.


  3. Thanks for the feedback! The kids love your encouragement.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: