Students learn about renewables
Forty students and teachers from six Schoolgen schools around the Waikato attended a Science and Technology extension programme run by Genesis Energy’s Schoolgen educators at Forest Lake Primary School in midNovember.
The primary focus of the learning was on renewable energy, specifically solar power and energy efficiency and included a group from Matamata Primary School.
Other schools involved were Forest Lake, Maeroa Intermediate, St Peter Chanel Catholic School, Te Kowhai School and Vardon School. These schools were included in the Energy Cluster Day as a result of their long term involvement in the Genesis Energy Schoolgen programme.
The students participated in a range of activities and presentations including building an electrical circuit powered by a mini photovoltaic solar panel, measuring light, investigating the solar spectrum and researching renewable versus non-renewable energy.
According to Maggie Twaddle, Genesis Energy’s Schoolgen Team Leader, the Energy Cluster Day is just one way in which the Schoolgen programme supports schools with teaching Science and Technology to ensure it is embedded into each school’s curriculum delivery programme. Genesis Energy’s Schoolgen programme aims to support teachers by giving them innovative and engaging tools to use with their students.
‘‘The Energy Cluster Day is a great way of fully immersing a group of students and their teachers in science. The students who attended are given the job of being Energy Champions and so return to their schools excited and wanting to share what they have learned with the other children,’’ Twaddle said.
The Schoolgen programme was launched in 2006. It is one of Genesis Energy’s key corporate social responsibility initiatives and supports teaching and learning about renewable energy and energy efficiency.
As part of the programme, Genesis Energy has provided 66 schools to date across New Zealand with free two or four kilowatt (kW) arrays of photovoltaic panels from which they can generate a portion of their electricity. The real time solar data from each school enables everyone to see how much electricity the solar panels are producing (www.schoolgen.co.nz).
The website also offers free educational resources that are linked to the NZ Curriculum and explores electricity generation, solar energy, photovoltaic (PV) systems and energy efficiency.
Twaddle said: ‘‘With the Genesis Energy Schoolgen programme we are keen to help students across New Zealand learn more about renewable energy and energy efficiency. These children will one day be our leaders . . . and so it is important that they understand the role energy plays in both their personal lives and in the bigger picture.’’ .
Great time: Matamata Primary attended a Science and Technology extension programme run by Genesis Energy’s Schoolgen educators earlier this month.