Workshop teaches students how to build a greener future

Workshop teaches students how to build a greener future

YP cadet Joy Pamnani found out that spreading the word about the importance of renewable and green energy doesn't have to be boring

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Hands-on experience is the best way to learn about environmental issues.
Hands-on experience is the best way to learn about environmental issues.
Photo: CLP

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Building models provides a chance for the junior engineers to think and act like a real-life one.
Building models provides a chance for the junior engineers to think and act like a real-life one.
Photo: CLP

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It was safety first as the students wore helmets on a visit to a power station to see how electricity is generated.
It was safety first as the students wore helmets on a visit to a power station to see how electricity is generated.
Photo: CLP

The Junior Green Engineer Programme is run by CLP Power Hong Kong. It educates students about the importance of saving energy, and also arouses interest in engineering.

CLP selected 100 students to take part in the programme. But before becoming Junior Green Engineers, they had to work in groups to complete a series of very special missions.

For the first mission, the students visited the Nuclear Resources Centre for an introduction to different kinds of fuels and nuclear power. The second mission involved learning about electricity generation and transmission by visiting different power plants.

The third mission was definitely the most fun. It was a creative model-making workshop which gave the students the chance to think - and act - like a real-life engineer.

And last but not least, the fourth mission was a talk to management about the future of energy and career prospects in the industry.

So why did students opt for extra classes during the only lecture-free time of the year - summer?

Well, because learning about the future of energy is very important. The programme provided a great opportunity to step into the shoes of a real-life engineer for the day.

Just take mission three, the model-making workshop. After a short talk about green living, the students were given 90 minutes to build their own model of a green, environmentally-friendly city, out of electronic circuits, Lego and other materials.

The exercise got them thinking about what makes a city sustainable. They even began to consider what Hong Kong might look like in the next few decades if more environmentally-friendly development takes place.

Apart from the usual high-rise office buildings, transport and power stations, students included more trees, as well as sources of renewable energy. They began to think the way real environmental engineers do.

One of the groups named their city "Green Kingdom" and installed a huge windmill next to a sports ground to give athletes an eco-friendly way of staying cool.

The organisers of the workshop said hands-on experience is the best way to teach students about environmental issues.

It was important for students to have memories they could apply in their daily lives, added Eric Chan, a CLP engineer and one of the workshop mentors.

"Reading in a textbook about [how you should] turn off your lights when they are not in use won't teach you as much as seeing the work which goes into generating electricity," said Chan.

After the programme, Chan hopes the junior engineers will become green role models for their friends, family and society as a whole. He wants them to help educate the public on why it is important to save energy and live "green".

"In the past, the education level wasn't very high and people didn't know much about green living and saving energy," he said.

"But now, the younger generation knows more about the environment and can spread this knowledge among their friends, parents, grandparents, and other relatives.

"They are capable of encouraging the older generation to follow in their footsteps."

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
How to build a greener future

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