‘En­ergy Ar­cade’ at North Point High demon­strates stu­dents’ car­bon foot­print

Earth Day ac­tiv­i­ties in­clude wa­ter use, elec­tric­ity gen­er­a­tion

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU jan­fen­son-comeau@somd­news.com

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.

STAFF PHOTO BY JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU

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.

STAFF PHOTO BY JAMIE ANFENSON-COMEAU

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.

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