Explain Step 3.2: Survey your school
Suggested Subject Area: Environmental Education/ Numeracy/ Literacy
To provide students with opportunities to:
You will need:
Other schools and the community have used a variety of actions to improve sustainability, adapt to a changing climate and reduce their carbon footprint.
Discuss with students that surveys are lists of questions that can be used to collect data from a ‘sample’ group. This group represents a larger population. The larger the sample, the more likely it is that it will represent the population.
Select students to conduct an energy survey of a classroom and map items that require energy. See Resource 1.6.
Where possible, in small groups use a smart meter or ‘Power Mate’ to survey energy consumption of different appliances within the school. Discuss areas within the school in which energy is consumed or create a diagram representing student/class energy usage at school.
Brainstorm options for conserving energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in all areas of the school that have been identified as users of energy and sources of greenhouse gas emissions.
Water can be a key element when examining the environmental impact of a school. Select students to conduct a water survey. Use Resource 1.7 to examine the use of drinking quality water.
Whether you recycle your waste or not at school can impact on the school’s carbon footprint. Select students to investigate where resources are used around the school and look for ways to reduce the amounts used. See Resource 1.8.
Select students to conduct a travel survey. Use the survey in Resource 1.9 to allow the class to examine the way they travel and help inform how they could better use the different ways of travelling.
All schools exist within ecosystems. The school grounds or nearby green spaces all contain plants and some may sequester (or absorb) carbon. Select students to conduct a biodiversity survey in Resource 1.10 to map the existing biodiversity near or in and around your school.
Ask groups or the class as a whole to discuss problems or issues identified from the surveys.
As a class prepare an action plan that defines how the class and each student can personally improve sustainability, adapt to change and reduce the school or their classroom’s carbon footprint.
The plan could look like this:
Or students could be asked to draw the school as they’d like it to be, or consider a more detailed plan with the following headings: