Earth Day word magnets stick with students and teachers

Green team will turn off light bulbs for responsible, ecological power.

Power down windows to save our world.

Sing to a worm's footprint.

Those are only a sample of the sentences created by grade 6 and 7 students in Sharon Christian's class at Abbotsford's Bradner Elementary. They were crafted by the wordsmiths during a series of exercises using magnets provided by BC Hydro.

Each magnet is a word that refers to sustainability and the environment. As with the magnetic poetry craze from years ago, they can be arranged into countless phrases that bring about a "green" state of mind.

Ms. Christian, who's been teaching since 1977, said that the magnets really got the kids thinking about conservation and the environment. "And it was done in a fun way," she said on the phone. "It wasn't just me droning on."

The magnet sheets were provided free of charge to any teacher who requested them as part of BC Hydro's campaign to celebrate Earth Day on April 22. More than 500 teachers from over 350 schools across British Columbia responded.

Each teacher was sent enough magnet kits for their entire class; the students took them home afterwards.

Also available to the teachers were two lessons that focused on the connection between energy and the environment and how small conservation actions can make a difference. The lessons reinforced the message behind BC Hydro's online educational platform: "every drop counts".

"I've been to so many workshops over the years," said Ms. Christian, "but these programs are fabulous. They are so well laid out and hands-on and user-friendly."

In her class, students had fun tackling a variety of tasks, such as coming up with the most "green" sentence, or the silliest or lengthiest message. Like this one: Unplug computers to conserve power; to save our world create and sustain green power reduce the electronic power footprint for generations, use campaigns, create, imagine, reuse, recycle, think ecological changes; save the water, trees, and wind; take less, respect more; preserve energy now for generations.

Ms. Christian said that her students have said the parents are using the word magnets in the home, too.

For Ms. Christian, the Earth Day campaign is another example of the value of BC Hydro's classroom programs. "These programs are fabulous," she said. "The resources are right there. I don't have to get anything, and anything I need gets sent to me."

About our school programs

At BC Hydro, we believe that creating energy conservation awareness among the next generation is one of the keys to energy sustainability for our province.

Our key objective is to empower students to take action on energy use within their schools and to carry these messages to their families and to their communities.

Our classroom resources, developed by B.C. teachers for B.C. teachers and students, encourage school communities to develop and foster a culture of energy conservation.