‘Energy Arcade’ at North Point High demonstrates students’ carbon footprint
Earth Day activities include water use, electricity generation
North Point High School is seeking to educate students about their carbon footprint with a series of games and activities, in recognition of Earth Day, April 22.
The “Energy Arcade” at North Point is on loan from Climate Change Maryland, a state public outreach program to educate Maryland residents about climate change.
The Energy Arcade has been available to students and to classes throughout the week, said environmental sciences
teacher Lolita Kiorpes.
It features activities including an inflatable house where students have to patch “leaks” which represent areas in a house where heat and energy are lost.
It also includes an event in which students calculate how much water they use based on how long they take a shower and then attempt to hold a bucket containing an equivalent weight for the same amount of time.
“I’m hoping they see how much water they waste when they take that long shower, you don’t realize that it’s two gallons every minute,” Kiorpes said.
There is a “Whac-a-Pollutant” game in which students attempt to “knock out” various indoor air pollutants, and can see the affects of those pollutants they fail to cancel out on an air filter.
In addition, there is an energy meter where two students must turn a handle to generate energy to light an incandescent and an LED light bulb, which demonstrates how much less energy the LED bulb requires, Kiorpes said.
“Normal lightbulbs really are less efficient than … LED bulbs,” said sophomore Noemi Hatch, 16. “The handle [for the incandescent bulb] required much more turning.”
Kiorpes said having the Energy Arcade allows students to experience the effects of their own actions first-hand rather than reading about them or hearing about it in a lecture.
“With this, the kids can actually see the impact of their carbon footprint, and maybe make changes at home,” Kiorpes said.
Earth Day was established in 1970 as a “national teach-in on the environment,” to raise awareness of air and water pollution, and to promote sustainability, according to the Earth Day Network website.
North Point High School sophomore Jackie Dheng, 15, tries to knock out householde pollutants while his classmates cheer him on in North Point’s “Energy Arcade” Wednesday.
North Point High School environmental science teacher Lolita Kiorpes watches as sophomores Noemi Hatch and Brianna Sibley turn handles to generate electricity to light incandescent and LED light bulbs, respectively, at North Point’s Energy Arcade.