We shape our school together
There is no better place than school to address the question about how we want to live in the future. There is no better place than school to take steps in the direction of a sustainable way of life. Sustainability includes economic, social, and ecologic aspects.
Part of sustainability is a fair treatment of southern countries, which have historically had very limited opportunities for development. We want to emphasize Fair Trade. Our ambition is to become a fair-trade school.
The green of our school yard and our school pond allows students to learn about and appreciate nature.
Climate protection, too, is a challenge with both local and global implications. At our school, we tackle this challenge with the trio of “Explain – conserve – generate” in order to:
People are especially likely to commit themselves to climate protection when they are thoroughly informed about climate change and the possibilities of climate protection. That is why we brought the circulating exhibition “Tangible climate change – tackling climate protection” to life.
Exhibits, interactive media, and small experiments conducted by the visitors themselves make the experience of climate change and climate protection tangible at the circulating exhibition’s 36 stops. Info charts present thoroughly researched information and background with the assistance of engaging pictures. Students who learned about climate change and climate protection in their geography and NwT classes are guiding visitors through the exhibition. For this, they utilize a 36-page booklet on the contents of the exhibition. The exhibition is based on the concept of “Learning through teaching”: Students are more engaged in the topics climate change and climate protection when they can pass along their own insights to other students. On the other hand, visitors (mainly students of FPGZ and other schools) experience guided tours through the exhibition as especially authentic when their guides are of the same age.
For further information on the exhibition “Tangible climate change – tackling climate protection”, e.g. the contents of the info charts and numerous pictures, please see www.klimaausstellung.de
The climate club informs incoming Grade 5 students each year about climate change and possible actions to contribute to climate protection in the class room. For this, students of the climate club prepare a small exploration game, a power point presentation, and a quiz on the topic of waste.
The best thing for climate protection is the energy that is not used. Therefore, we were able to drastically cut energy consumption at our school and, according to an estimate of the local authority for environmental protection, we can lower our school’s annual carbon emission by more than 50 tons thanks to changes in our behavior. Starting as early as 2009, we have been part of the LESS program “Lucrative Energy conservation at Stuttgart Schools”.
Already in 2010, students of FPGZ used the context of a climate day to conceptualize a climate protection statement including tips for energy conservation in the class room. Ever since then, each class appoints a climate representative, who monitor efficient energy usage as well as considerate airing of class rooms during seasons where heating is required.
Many schools face the big challenge of enormous greenhouse gas emissions as a result of flights for school trips or exchange programs. The society “School and Environment at FPGZ e.V.” therefore rewards climate friendly school trips or exchange programs that use buses or trains as a means of transportation with currently 15€ per student.
We want the FPGZ to generate carbon-neutral energy and meets its energy requirements through 100% renewable energy in the long run. Already in the years 2002 and 2004, the society “School and Environment” started running solar power systems, and in 2011, the society funded another such system for our new building. With these system running, we are now looking at a peak rate of 21.45 kW. Ever since, we have been able to generate almost 200,000 kWh of electric energy and saved almost 100 tons of carbon dioxide.
We lend our circulating exhibition and are also part of city projects such as the development of the Stuttgart energy concept “urbanization of energy transformation”, as well as the Citizens Budget that saw a suggestion submitted by the school’s climate club on the topic of energy-efficient renovation of school building finish 51st out of thousands of submissions.