Reducing Energy, Increasing Sustainability

School: 8th Primary school of Nea Filadelfeia, Athens Greece
Participants: Students of 6th grade (11 to 12 years old)
Implementation dates: 7 February – 18 March 2022

Author: Stavroula Skiada


Having in mind that energy supply is tightly intertwined with many of the most damaging and dangerous environmental problems, a team of 6th grade students at the 8th Primary School of Nea Filadelfeia decided to change behaviors and raise awareness to the school community in pursuit of the sustainable well-being goal. Technology for good (Tech4Good) was the stimulus for the students to use the BBC micro:bit controller to address the critical challenge of energy-wasting habits in the school.

Logo of the project
The logo of the project


The STEM project “The Energy Awareness” was integrated into the cross-thematic national curriculum. It aimed to introduce students to basic skills of programming, computational and critical thinking, collaboration, and decision making. Moreover, STEM methodology promotes the 21st century skills and behavioral competencies. In addition, the use of innovative technology in the class contributes to sustain students’ optimal motivation and help them apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science. Concisely, the students monitored the energy use of light bulbs or tubes at different areas of the school and the time the energy source was in use. After that, they calculated the energy use in kWh. Then they collected all the data to a spreadsheet, presented them and informed the school leadership about the lights that need replacement. At the final phase of the project, qualified electricians changed the fluorescent light bulbs with LED ones.

Steps of the project

The coding part

In the beginning of the project, the students programmed their controllers to monitor the electric light use on the school premises. They implemented the coding part in the Microsoft MakeCode environment and turned the BBC micro:bit controller into an energy light meter. Using the MakeCode blocks, students stored the light level recorded by the micro: bit’s built-in light sensor in a variable (values between 0 and 255). The value closest to 255 means that this area needs more natural light. As a result more electricity is being used to provide the light needed. In the same time, students collected data using another variable to measure how long the light has been switched on in minutes. Most importantly, the code was kept simple in order the students to understand the process and the calculations, while the teacher took on the role of a facilitator to provide the necessary scaffolding.

Designing the school’s plot

In a subsequent step, a student of the team drew the plot of the school building to plan the light level measurements. In other words, the team pinned the spots where they should place the controllers and take light readings. Specifically, the students selected the areas of the ICT lab, the corridors, the classrooms, the school’s library, and the canteen.  The rooms away from daylight, such as the school canteen and the corridors, were measured with the highest value of light use (values close to 255).

Steps of implementation

Data collection, processing and presentation

After the measurements of the light levels, the students collated the data in a spreadsheet and calculated the amount of energy used in kWh given the time and power consumed by electric lighting (kWh = watts ÷ 1000 × minutes ÷ 60). Subsequently, the team presented to the headmaster the numeric data and their visual representation in graphs. Moreover, a concrete solution was provided by the students: the fluorescent tubes or bulbs consume more energy than the LED ones. Consequently, the fluorescent lights of the places with the highest energy consumption should be replaced immediately.

Data presentation to the school’s headmaster

Final step

The last activity at the closing phase of the project was the replacement of the old lights with new LED bulbs or tubes from the municipal electricians. The headmaster of the school informed the Municipal Education Directorates and communicated to them the data collected by the students and their proposal. Additionally, the students recycled the old lights to the light-bulbs recycling bin of the school. Last but not least, the headmaster of the school promised the project team that during the upcoming months qualified electricians will replace all the old lights so as to reduce the energy footprint of the school.

Replacement of the fluorescent tubes in the school canteen


The educational objectives of “The Energy awareness” project were achieved. Students monitored the energy wasted in the school, collected good data to make decisions and presented the data, numerically and graphically, to help inform decisions. Actually, they had a positive impact on Climate change by contributing to the achievement of the “Affordable and Clean energy” sustainable development global goal 7. The educational approach of all the four disciplines of the STEM methodology during the implementation of this project fostered ingenuity and creativity, encouraged knowledge application and teamwork and taught problem-solving. Finally, yet importantly, the project engaged different stakeholder groups, including teachers, school leadership, municipality and most of all, students, in working toward a common goal. The collaboration between the school and the local community created an environment of shared values.
A video with all the activities of the “Energy Awareness” project

For more information visit:

SOI Energy resources on Earth

It took place  on April 27, 2021

 Name : Marijana Vuković

The learning scenario (LS) implemented :

I have chosen this Learning Scenario for the Secondary school Biology students ( First class). They have just started doing Unit Ecology , subject theme – The Maintenance of the Balanced State .

There are 25 students in the class and this scenario I have used  for the 4th group called –Economise .

The teaching is carried out online in the virtual classroom by using the Zoom application .Before this Unit the students have calculated their personal Ecological Footprint. The results have encouraged them to think about the analises and ideas how to reduce their personal Ecological Footprint . Taking into consideration the results , the students are divided into 5 groups and every group has 5 students.

The 1st group: Reduce-reduce the waste amount –Students have researched the ways how to separate the waste properly and presented it to its collegues.

The 2nd group: Recover, Recycle Reuse – use it one more time – they have made the pillows by using the old shirts; recycle or rework.

The 3rd group: Educate – educate and become aware:students have organised to take part in the radio show on the subject of Ecological Footprint. The aimed group : collegues and citizens  

The 4th group:  Economise – reduce the expenses, research the biggest electrical energy consumers (Anex 3) from LS, as well as the biggest water consumers in their household.  

The 5th group: Enforce – apply the law in practice using web page of the association ODRAZ, research the pubblication New challenge –Sustainable development global goals up to 2030.

 Learning Outcomes:

B. 1.2.The student analyses the maintenance of the balanced state in nature bringing together it own behaviour and the responsability with sustainable development.

B.1.2.2. The student analyses the antropogenic influence on the dinamic balance of nature and discusses about the ways of preventing and/or refurbishing of the contamination/ pollution

D.1.1 The student applies the basic principles and methodology of the scientific research and describes the development of scientific thought during the history

In order to encourage students and their families to a rational water consumption , it would be a good idea that students together with their families do a rational water consumption in a period of a month ( later they can compare their bills before/after the rational water consumption ). Except this way of calculation , students can visit the closest water storage where the pumps waste/spend the electricity while pumping water in order to be delivered to our homes. They need to calculate the electricity consumption in this process and to compare the electricity consumption with solar panels. The attention should be payed also to the city infrastructure itself ( the age of the plumps, irregularity of the water-gauge ).

Teaching outcomes:

To motivate students, except the results of the Ecological Footprint , they can use the next link :

Motivation video link :

Video clip about global warming  – National Geographic©:

Some of my students’ work:

Task 1

Task 2.

The visuals belong to the Author – Attribution CC-BY


How we came up with our project idea?

The very main reason for our decision to start our project blossomed following a brainstorming session in class. There is an ongoing construction of a huge opera house building which is visible from our school grounds. One day my students were watching the construction site in admiration, raving over the heavy-duty machinery, which at the time led me to think that I wouldn’t be able to get a better chance to introduce and turn such a concept into a STEM project so I decided to create the right environment for the idea to flourish.

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Lamps: let’s be clear!

Distant teaching activity

Teachers: Mario Di Fonza in collaboration with Sabrina Nappi, Riccardo Di Pietro, Rosanna Busiello

Age: 14-16 years old. February-march

Let’s start with some questions! 

Which kind of lamps can we buy after the old incandescent bulb, invented by Edison, has retired? Which are the energy-efficient light bulbs and which ones emit less CO2 in the environment? Which parameter helps us understand how much light a light bulb really emits? How much money can we save using led lamps compared to incandescent lamps? How long can we keep the incandescent lamp on? How long does it take to pay back a led purchase? Students will learn different types of light bulbs on the market in order to know the consequent energy and money savings.

This activity could be introduced on April 22nd, “Earth Day”, a celebration of the environment and the protection of the Earth.

If you check the website you can read the descriptions of every activity.

We chose Inquiry Based Science Education (IBSE) methodology in which research is the most important task of pedagogical approach because it encourages students to ask questions and develop actions to solve problems and understand phenomena.

Subjects involved are maths,chemistry and physics

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