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Engaging youth at the Energize: Sustainable City Challenge

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Students working on energy mix board game grid

On Thursday, April 20th, the Sustainability Office and Climate Action Waterloo Region hosted two high school groups – Resurrection and St. David’s - from the WCDSB for the Energize: Sustainable City Challenge. The day was filled with discussion, idea-generation, and problem-solving to showcase the students’ vision for a sustainable Waterloo Region!

Students were posed with a challenge to reduce the Region’s greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050, which is the current provincial objective, by developing a cost-effective and reliable energy mix. Each group received their own energy grid model and a variety of conservation and energy generation cards to develop a sustainable energy mix.

Students developed a vision for a sustainable Waterloo Region and generated practical policy and technological solutions that aligned with their proposed energy mix. This stage enabled students to see the feasibility of their ideas and consider how they might be implemented.

The final stage had students create a poster board with their vision, energy mix, and practical solutions to pitch to the rest of the group. This creative component of the workshop saw students come together to provide a holistic, sustainable, and feasible solution to energy management in the Region.

Students working on vision boardBoth groups managed to meet the goal, and reduced their GHG emissions by 2050 to less than 770,000 tonnes from over 3 million. 

At the end of the day, students took home a certificate and a Sustainability and Energy Toolkit to help embed sustainability actions into their daily lives. These kits contained home sustainability audits, energy conservation cards, info on sustainability organizations within the Region, and materials from SaveOnEnergy and Waterloo North Hydro!

A special thanks goes out to the WCDSB Sustainability Office, Resurrection, St. David's, and Climate Action Waterloo Region for helping to make this event happen!