Educational program aims to teach about energy conservation

Renewable Power –the Intelligent Choice (RPIC) member Jack Jensen helps a trio of students from Sturgeon Lake Central School during the first day of the Smarter Science Better Buildings education program at City Hall. -- Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

Raymond Daniels and his classmates have a puzzle in front of them.

The Sturgeon Lake Central School students are tackling a series of questions at display booths set up around City Hall. The subject? It’s pollution, power consumption and renewable energy.

Although he doesn’t see a lot of pollution in his home community, Daniels is still interested.

“It’s still important to learn about,” he explains.

This Grade 7-8 class from Sturgeon Lake is among the first to take part in this project to help promote renewable and sustainable energy. It’s called Smarter Science Better Buildings, and for the last four years it’s been a common sight at communities with Western Development Museums.

This year, local members of Renewable Power – the Intelligent Choice (RPIC) began looking at ways to bring the education program to Prince Albert. Thanks to a partnership with the Saskatchewan Environmental Society and generous donations from local businesses and government organizations, like SaskEnergy, the program has finally made its way to Prince Albert.

The program is linked to the Grade 7 curriculum on heat and temperature, and gives students a more hands-on experience at the half-dozen interactive booths.

“We hope they take away from this a sense that energy consumption can be more sustainable if we reduce our consumption in creative ways, and make up the difference with renewable energy options,” RPIC member Rick Closs says.

Closs was one of two RPIC members on hand to help students work through the program. At total of eight schools and more than 200 students will take part before it wraps up on Friday, with sponsors covering all transportation costs. Students from Saskatchewan Polytechnic will also take part Thursday afternoon.

Overall, he’s pleased with how the inaugural edition of the Smarter Science program in Prince Albert. Residents across Saskatchewan are starting to become more aware of how unchecked energy consumption hurts not just the environment, but the pocketbook as well. Programs like this one help get that message out sooner, and in a more entertaining may.

“I think we’ve had a really good response given that it’s our first year here,” Closs says. “We really weren’t sure (how it would go), so we’re happy.”