Climate action in the classroom

Self-made wind turbine rotors, climate challenges and a rap song – the winners from the 16 federal states, a special prize winner and the federal winner have been announced under the annual ‘Energiesparmeister’ (energy conservation champions) competition for schools.

Eine Lehrkraft zeigt Kindern ein Solarpanel.© BMWK / Halfpoint

More than 50,000 teachers and pupils took part in the competition this year and submitted at total of 418 projects for the jury to assess – a new record! Each year, co2online – a non-profit online climate action consultancy firm – and the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action are honouring efficient, creative and sustainable climate action projects from German schools. Cash and non-cash prizes worth €50,000 were to be won this year.

They will go towards clever climate action ideas such as those developed by Erich-Fried Gesamtschule in Wuppertal-Ronsdorf in North Rhine-Westphalia, which was announced the federal winner of the competition at the festive prize ceremony that was held at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action. The school has not only introduced a climate action strategy, set up a climate summit and founded a climate club, the teachers and pupils also appointed ‘energy efficiency scouts’ in each class to identify potential energy savings. The school not only calculates the carbon footprint of people’s journeys to and from school or the food offered in the canteen, but is also planning to renovate the school building in an energy-efficient way.

Unique energy efficiency projects.

The special prize for sustainability was awarded to Geschwister-Scholl-Schule from Blieskastel in the Saarland, whose multimedia projects have been delighting the jury since 2017. These include the school’s own climate check app, a digital rally through the school building focusing on energy efficiency and self-made buttons displaying practical advice on climate action. The school has recently also introduced ‘technology and climate’ as a school subject.