Modeling the Interior of the Princess Elisabeth Station
Over the last school term, a class of 5th graders at the European School of Brussels looked into energy-saving as a way to cut greenhouse emissions. Their teacher, Ms. Hazel Lewis, signed them up for a series of educational workshops on the subject of energy and led a classroom project on the Princess Elisabeth Station.
The children were given all the tools they needed to imagine and reproduce the various rooms inside the Princess Elisabeth Station: a movie featuring the Princess Elisabeth Station, resources available on the Station's official website and a guided tour of the "House of the Future" in Vilvoorde (Belgium). "The objective of our study was energy-saving but when I heard about the Princess Elisabeth Station and its zero emission features, I thought what a great idea it would be to have the children actually design and build model rooms for the Station and then display them at the Expo-Science fair held in Heysel during the month of March. The Station reflected exactly the energy-saving concept we were studying in class," says Hazel Lewis.
The result was indeed very successful: the children were committed and creative, and the models reflected just how well they had assimilated the subject. The models featured wind turbines for electricity production, rain/snow water collectors, solar panels to heat the water, etc. During the Heysel exhibit, the children also went a step further by asking the public to prioritize the energy consumption of the Princess Elisabeth research station - it was sort of like playing the role of a PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) or "smart grid", the Station's energy management computer.
This Princess Elisabeth Station classroom project was a first for the European School of Brussels but will certainly be carried through again next year, says Hazel Lewis.
Picture: Pupils from the European School of Brussels - © International Polar Foundation