Southern Middle students on the Energy Action PatrolBy TERRI REUTER
Publications/public information coordinator,
Southern York County School District
Glen Rock, Pa – Life Skills Support (LSS) students at Southern Middle School scoped the halls during the school year, searching for energy offenders. The students, part of the Energy Action Patrol, explored the school for empty offices and classrooms whose lights, televisions, computers, and faucets were left on. From classrooms and music rooms to offices and storage rooms, every empty room was observed by the LSS students.
As part of the middle school science curriculum that deals with conservation, the LSS students did their share to help conserve energy. Every two weeks, they patroled the halls, either providing yellow, “Uh-oh! Watts are being wasted!” reminder tags on doors if they saw energy was being wasted or green, “Thanks a watt!” tags if energy was being conserved.Through Johnson Controls, the National Energy Foundation, and the Academy of Energy, materials were donated to the Southern York County School District as part of the Blue Sky Program. The district received a Blue Sky Energy Grant for $1,000 to incorporate the materials into its science curriculum at Southern Middle School. Students learned about water conservation, pollution, and energy conservation. The program was incorporated into the eighth grade science curriculum as part of the energy unit, Principal Len Reppert said. The LSS students learned about conservation in their classroom before taking action throughout the rest of the school.
“One of the components of the program is through the Energy Action Patrol,” LSS Teacher Lynne Hood said.
Armed with their patrol badges, yellow and green tags, and a clipboard to track offenders, the students walked the hallways, hoping that no one was wasting energy, she said. However, if staff members were wasteful, Hood’s students were eager to leave reminder tags.“By being on patrol, we have learned a lot about turning off lights, computers and televisions,” she said.
Southern Middle School students and staff embraced the Energy Action Patrol.
“It has made us more conscientious about ways to save energy,” Reppert said. “It turned into a nice competition with staff to make sure they received a green tag on their door rather than a yellow tag.”
The LSS students followed-up with the offenders a week or two later to see if they have made efforts to conserve energy.
“We actually saw people who saw us and they would run to turn off their lights,” Hood said. “It definitely raised awareness around the building.”
The program will continue for the next school year.
“We look forward to continuing the Energy Action Patrol as a way to make students and staff even more aware of ways they can conserve energy,” Reppert said.