An update on Transition Bath’s Energy Sparks project to teach primary school children about energy

Since we gained funding from the Open Data Institute  in August to develop a website, we have been busy beavering away developing the website which will form the basis of a ‘School Energy Competition’ which we plan on using to teach primary school children about energy.

We now have a working test website, which has the potential to take near real-time Smart Meter electricity and gas meter data from over 70 schools around Bath and publish them publicly. We are currently working with pupils at 2 test schools, St Saviours Infant and Twerton Infants to make the website more “children-friendly’ and we will soon be publishing their data live on a production website.

At the moment our focus is on the ‘gamification’ of the website. The website has a gaming engine built into it which turns saving energy into a game which should improve the children’s enthusiasm and learning. Pupils will be able to gain points for coming up with initiatives at their school to save energy and will then be able to see the impact of their actions through looking at graphs of their 1/2 hourly energy consumption. The website will then allow them to compete against other schools in order to see who can save the most energy. A paper based version of this approach saved on average 20% of energy at 13 schools last year.

We are currently looking for grants and sponsorship to run the first version of the competition at up to 10 schools using the new website in the New Year. More information on the project is available here.

The project is being developed in conjunction with Bath: Hacked, Resources Futures and B&NES Council.

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