Energy efficiency and environmental awareness was not yet “en vogue” in school construction of the 1960s and 70s in Germany, and so many buildings of that time today offer great potential in the reduction of the CO2 budget and the associated operational costs. Through the school competition “Energy Challenges”, the Interreg North-Sea Region 2IMPREZS project involves schools in Lower Saxony in reducing their energy consumption and the resulting CO2 emissions.

The Energy Challenges campaign aims to encourage students to develop their own CO2 reduction measures by changing their behaviour patterns or by implementing simple technical energy-saving measures at their schools. Yet due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the school competition had to be restructured to ensure the health and safety of teachers, learners and parents. The competition is based on awareness raising and motivating children to take action in their own schools: they are to let children move freely around the school, identifying “energy eating” technologies and developing proposals for more energy efficient solutions. During a global pandemic, neither of these is currently possible.

Not only the lack of face-to-face teaching poses a challenge for the 2IMPREZS Energy Challenges – other effects of the pandemic restrictions have made the implementation of the project more challenging, such as the frequent ventilation of the classroom, which significantly increases the energy consumption for heating and thus the CO2 emissions of the schools. The same applies to the water consumption in schools due to increased hand washing.

The 2IMPREZS Energy Challenges project has pivoted to these changing conditions and is now developing a digital version of the Energy Challenges. atene KOM, is responsible for this restructuring into a collaborative digital version, with a focus on virtual interactions.

To ensure the effective rollout of the 2IMPREZS Energy Challenges amongst teachers and learners, it is important to keep the barriers to participating in the competition (e.g., in lesson preparation) as low as possible. Participating schools in Lower Saxony therefore receive a comprehensive catalogue of online tools that help to make learning processes on important energy-related topics – such as energy saving, energy efficiency, climate change, basic technical understanding of energy usage and saving, and creative brainstorming on energy-saving measures – enjoyable even outside of the classroom! This includes educational activities and games, engaging video conferences and quiz formats. Individual consulting and support for the digital tools through atene KOM is also possible.

The competition will take place from February to June 2021. Applications from schools in Lower Saxony can be sent to Sebastian Martin (s.martin@atenekom.eu), Project Manager at atene KOM, before the 5th of February.

Background

The transnational strategy of the 2IMPREZS project aims to achieve energy savings of up to 30% in 141 schools in the North Sea region, which corresponds to an emission reduction of about 7,320 tonnes of CO2. As project partner, atene KOM GmbH is responsible for communication with the schools from the German project region. The participating schools are supported throughout the project and have a fixed contact person for the implementation of the transnational Energy Challenges and the sustainable measures for the reduction of energy consumption. In addition, atene KOM coordinates the transnational knowledge exchange between the schools and serves as the project Communication Manager.

More information about 2IMPREZS can also be found on the project website:
www.northsearegion.eu/2imprezs