Presentation on theme: "“Transformations” An Educational Project Involving Alberta’s Energy Sources and Alexander Ferguson School."— Presentation transcript:
“Transformations” An Educational Project Involving Alberta’s Energy Sources and Alexander Ferguson School
“Transformations” Alexander Ferguson School, located at 1704-26 St. SW Calgary, Alberta, is a proud Calgary Board of Education School located in Area 4 and serving elementary-aged students in the communities of Shaganappi, Glengarry, Killarney and other surrounding areas. AFS received two grants – one from British Petroleum and one from Enmax to carry out this exciting work. Check our website at www.cbe.ab.ca/b101 for more information.
“Transformations” is a project designed to deepen Alexander Ferguson School’s students’ understanding of energy and energy use in Alberta; transform our school library into a place of wonder and inspiration; have each grade will visit with an expert from Alberta’s energy sector to discover the variety of energy sources used and produced in our province, and facilitate students working with writers/composers from our artist roster as well as local song writers and musicians, to compile a country and western CD based on the information gained from their research.
“Transformations” Alexander Ferguson School will put this deeper knowledge into action as we power lighting, fans and a perpetual motion machine using installed solar panels. We will include visual displays in the library showing how much energy is being generated by these alternative energy sources. Our library will also reflect a focus of the Alberta prairies, centered around the sun. Surrounding walls will reflect visuals of all our provinces’ energy sources.
“Transformations” Energy Content Energy Content Each class will visit the site of one Alberta energy source by Chartered bus. In addition, experts from less accessible resources, (Nuclear, hydrogen, geothermal) will be invited to speak to grades where appropriate. Exploration of energy is a component of science curriculum in all grades. We will involve all classrooms in the school with each grade grouping focusing on a particular source of energy.
“Transformations” The outcome of our study will visually represent new understanding of these various energy sources through our Library Renewal Project a well as our compilation of ‘Country/Western’ songs available in CD form. We feel that this traditional form of music suits its prairie inspirations and best reflects our province’s historical connections with energy resources.
Alexander Ferguson School’s Theme for 2007-08 is “Exploring Our Natural World”. This “Transformations” Project will help us focus on elements of the curriculum: Increased awareness of our earth’s resources is fundamental if our children are to become active and thoughtful consumers in the future. At the elementary level, we are able to stimulate interest through inquiry and by making connections to our world. By having students visit sights within their province and talk with experts, our school will incorporate smart energy practice into daily routines. Students will make connections to the water coming out of the fountains. They will understand why their teacher asks the last person in line to turn off the room lights. Having researched, written and produced music about energy, students will share their understanding with others and retain the knowledge they have gained. Each time they walk into the school library and behold the panoramic view of Alberta’s landscape they have captured through art, they will reflect on the experiences that helped to shape their environment and their understanding of the world.
“Transformations” Community Involvement Several members of our parent community are on board through an advisory capacity and our ongoing work with artists will ensure that the collaboration of teachers, community and students carries our message to a wider audience. Our dedicated group of stake-holders have an excellent track record of bringing innovative projects to fruition, over and above initial expectations. Currently, we are in the final stages of a two year Naturalization project. A piece of land is being reclaimed by nature, encouraging students to become stewards of their environment and appreciate the beauty in their world. A detailed look at this project can be found on our school webpage link or by visiting www.raingarden.ca www.raingarden.ca Our Library Transformation team has already connected with community members in the energy realm and sought out schools which have already incorporated innovative ideas to enhance the efficiency of their buildings. Visited sights include Cochrane High and Alternative High School. We are also networking with members of the Alberta Energies and Utilities Board as well as the Calgary Board of Education Energy Team.
Community Involvement Doug Driediger is a well known national artist whose work adorns the entire south facing wall of our playground. He will consult with Mauritz Flinkfelt, parent and local artist. They have committed their time to helping us design and implement this new mural with a group of older students. We have solicited advice from parent architects to ensure that our vision can realistically transform our existing library space so that it is esthetically as well as ergonomically practical. Students will benefit from a calm, peaceful space which connects with the landscape of our province, complete with oil wells, hydro dam, windmills, coal shafts and natural gas plants. As the focal point of our panoramic mural, a large sun will be painted on the ceiling in the middle of our library. The cost of any physical changes in our library will be covered through Parent Council contributions, fundraising and central budget allocations.
Involving Students in the “Transformations” Project Student Leadership The Division One and Two Leadership Cores have worked with teachers and community groups over the last two years in various capacities. Following our overarching school philosophy, ‘Making a World of Difference,’ students have taken on many initiatives to serve the needs of their immediate and global communities. These take the form of fundraising to buy goats and educational supplies for African communities through Foster Parent’s Plan to working with homeless Calgarians at the Mustard Seed and Inn From the Cold Organizations. These students act as spokes persons for their classrooms and will ensure that activities related to this initiative are infused with student input at all levels. For this project, students will be involved in designing and implementing the initial energy audit of our school in June 2007.
Evaluating our “Transformations” Project Project Evaluation Students at Alexander Ferguson will demonstrate a thorough understanding of how energy affects them and their environment as they apply learned concepts through the arts. Through the use of a pre and post survey, students will demonstrate their newly gained knowledge about energy use and being environmentally conscious. They will become “Energy Ambassadors” in the community, being leaders who transform the use of energy in their realms. They will apply their learning to all subject areas and it is expected that their written work will become richer and more reflective as they make connections to energy in their world. Students will be encouraged to transfer this information beyond the school and into their homes. Families will make more informed choices about energy consumption and act on their heightened awareness of our culture’s dependence on energy resources. We will create pictorial, photo and written documentation to share with parents and the community at our Celebration of Learning in May, 2008. At the culmination of the project, each student and teacher will take a pledge to act on a piece of information they have gained from the experience to use our energy more wisely.
How will this project benefit future students at this school and ensure continued maintenance and support within the school and community? Our school was facing closure four years ago and we are now operating at capacity. This transformation has occurred despite a downward trend in school age children in this community. Part of the reason for this turnaround, is thanks to innovative projects at our school, such as Learning Through the Arts, which is drawing students to our school from private and charter schools and from many communities. Our new energy focus and conservation initiatives through this project will help to build our school reputation as an excellent, innovative school, which will in turn help to keep our school open and vibrant – a “cutting edge” school! Future students at the school will also benefit from the new Naturalization Area, the 360 degree Alberta Mural and a legacy of books and teaching resources about the importance of energy conservation. In addition this project will help to create a environmentally conscious culture within the school, which will provide students with a solid foundation for active global citizenship. Our School motto is "We Can Make A Difference". This project will help to make that motto a reality.
“Transformations” What Has Happened So Far (November, 2007): Students have taken trips to venues such as the City Dump, Science Center, our natural Gully area near the school and Silver Creek Ranch. Students have been educated by a myriad of experts from such places as the University of Calgary and from our artist roster in Learning Through the Arts (see LTTA). Our library has undergone renovations. These include new shelving, space redesign and the beginnings of our mural.
Beginning Photos Beginning Photos The library was originally a dull lifeless grey. Using the ideas developed by the Impressionist painters, we decided to “paint with fire” by putting the mural background color into “authority red”.
October’s Work: Setting the Tone and “Energizing Our Library” 13 volunteers 13 volunteers 7 hours per volunteer equals Amazing results!