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Ducky Success Story | Alcoa Climate Championship

Alcoa Climate Championship 2019

County: Agder and Nordland, Norway

Number of participants: 564

When:29th of April to 13th of May 2019

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Written by Sigrid Hungnes, Project Manager for Green Flag in the FEE Norway Foundation.

We at FEE Norway and the Green Flag (environmental certification for schools and kindergartens) ran the Alcoa Climate Championship 2019 thanks to fundings from the Alcoa Foundation.

Over two weeks, pupils at 7 high schools from two counties, Agder and Nordland, reduced CO2e-emissions equivalent to a passenger airplane flying 3 times around the world.

But that’s not all. Through the climate championship, pupils gained insight into how they could easily reduce their climate emissions, and both pupils and teachers got to experience that small choices in everyday life can lead to major changes.

The climate championship was a positive and educational for me as a teacher in many ways. In a very educational way, I was reminded of the small, but very important things I can do in everyday life to help take better care of our planet.
Bjørge Tjørn
Teacher, Eilert Sundt High School

Repeats the success in 2020 and invites schools to compete in the National School Championship

We at FEE Norway (Green Flag) repeats the success and can again, with the support from the Alcoa Foundation, invite 23 high schools to participate in a new climate championship through the National School Championship on January 21st 2020.

“The competitive instinct helped establish a bond between pupils and teachers, and together find out what can be done to get the most points possible. As the championship lasted for two weeks – the awareness was sharpened. All the repetitions meant that I still today, half a year later, think about the environmental consequences of the choices I make from day to day,” says Børge Tjørn, Teacher at Eilert Sundt High School.

What did the pupils think?

“I think many have become aware of the things that can be done to reduce their own climate emissions, and that it’s not necessarily big changes,” says pupil Bertine Midtun to the newspaper Lister.

“All we did were simple things like cycling to school, or having a meat-free day,” says pupil Stian Nygård to the newspaper Lister.

“I think this has been educational for the pupils, especially now that taking care of the planet is more important than ever,” says the Mayor of Farsund, Arnt Abrahamsen to the newspaper Lister.

Involves teachers and school management

Engaging and involving teachers and school management was an important part of increasing pupil engagement and motivation. Teachers and the school management promoted the championship and encouraged the pupils to participate, creating a clear common identity at the school around the championship.

We noticed that having staff teams at the school greatly enhanced the pupils’ engagement. This created an extra element of competition allowing pupils to compete with their own teachers. In the Alcoa Climate Championship 2019, it was the schools with most active staff teams that reduced the most CO2e emissions on average per pupil.

Kick-Off’s

Our belief is that a kick-off is necessary to provide pupils with the information and motivation needed to get started. The schools set aside anything from 20 to 30 minutes. This gave us enough time to give pupils and teachers the information they needed to run a successful championship.

Ducky had made a very nice PowerPoint-presentation for us which included infographics and films that visualized what we wanted to convey to the school.

We recommend having two people on a kick-off who can present two perspectives (one discussing the importance of climate action, and the other providing information regarding details of the implementation of the climate championship). We were fortunate enough to have the help of representatives from Alcoa and Natur and Ungdom who gave speeches on climate change and the importance of climate action in everyday life. This was a very nice way to put the Alcoa Climate Championship in a bigger context, before the pupils were given information on practical details surrounding the implementation of the championship.

When you’re two, it’s also easier to document the kick-off by taking pictures and gathering quotes from teachers and pupils that can be used for press releases later. The schools usually have enough to do after you leave, so it’s important to make good use of the time they have allocated to you.

Ducky’s Climate Championship is an effective tool for letting pupils feel that we can all do positive things for the climate every day. It has been an eye-opener for both pupils and teachers and has given them useful lessons that they can take with them in both teaching and life.
Sigrid Hungnes
Project manager, Green Flag

564

Participants

34 286

Climate actions logged

29 425

Kg CO2e saved

How to arrange a kick-off in advance of a Climate Championship

We created a relatively simple kick-off recipe where we split the presentation into four parts:

Part 1 ( 1-2 minutes)

Get someone from the school management or a teacher to introduce you and the championship by saying a few words to the pupils about why the school has signed up and why the school thinks this is important (1-2 minutes). We saw this as necessary to create a school community during the championship.

Part 2 ( about 10 minutes )

If you have the opportunity, we encourage you to invite a representative from an environmental organization or others you work with who can tell pupils about the importance of climate action in everyday life.

Part 3 ( 15 minutes )

Present the championship. Who organizes the championship, why do they do it and how should it be implemented? Here, all practical details about the climate championship will be reviewed so that the pupils get the information and motivation they need to get started.

It’s important to help pupils get started by mentioning examples of everyday climate actions that pupils can take over the next two weeks (see Ducky’s demo in advance so the examples match the content of the championship).

Part 4 ( 15 minutes )

Set aside time after the presentation so pupils and teachers can ask questions. Also, feel free to stay after the presentation is finished in case anyone in the assembly has any questions, but doesn’t want to ask their question in plenary.

Set aside enough time

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