Transition Bath in combination with Bath: Hacked, Resource Futures and B&NES Council have been awarded a grant by the ODI to develop a website which aims to teach primary school children about energy. The website will provide graphs of schools’ smart meter data, and allow schools through gamification to compete to save energy. The aim is to reduce energy usage in schools and teach primary school children about energy, through behavioural change, leaving them with life-skills often lacking in adults. The grant will also allow us to make detailed energy consumption data publicly available for other public buildings like the Guildhall. We are calling the project ‘Energy Sparks’ – a dedicated website energysparks.uk will be appearing soon.
The project started as a result of 2 events in the last year:
- In March 2015 B&NES Council sponsored Resource Futures to run an energy competition between 13 schools which saved on average 20% of schools’ energy consumption (more here)
- In February 2016 Transition Bath and others won a competition for a prototype website which was developed over the course of a weekend to demonstrate the potential of a website displaying schools’ energy data
This combination of events got us thinking about how we could best leverage our experiences to provide an automated website for running a Schools’ Energy Competition. As a result, we put together a plan and applied to the Open Data Institute for funding.
Over the next 3 months we will use the grant to develop a website and technology to download, analyse and present graphs of schools’ energy use. We will wrap this is in a framework which will gamify a competition between schools which we hope will provide school children with an additional sense of enthusiasm and further enhance the learning process.
We have also applied for further grant funding to complete the project, to:
- Develop educational resources to support teachers using the new website, and to help them teach pupils about energy
- To run a competition starting in January 2017, involving 10 schools and perhaps 1000 pupils
This approach has as far as we know never been tried before and it is an experiment which will require fine tuning through feedback over the coming months and years.
The Open Data Institutes objectives in providing this grant under their Showcase Grant Scheme are to promote the use of publicly available open data, educate children and help us make Bath more sustainable. All the software and resources developed for the project will be ‘open sourced’ and will be available for other schools and community groups outside Bath to use.
More information on the grant is available on the ODI website here. We would also welcome anyone with an interest to contact us firstname.lastname@example.org or come along to our Energy Group meeting in October where we will provide more information about the project.
We will provide more information in due course as we develop the project.