In 2008, EDF Energy launched its sustainability commitments, one of which was to launch th Pod its new environmental education programme. Through the Pod the company pledged to engage with 2.5 million children by 2012 helping them to learn about the importance of low carton energy and to make sustainable lifestyle choices.
Greener schools in Great Britain with EDF’s “the Pod”
7. Community involvement
- Inspire young people and their families to choose a more sustainable lifestyle,
- Help them understand that a low carbon, secure and affordable energy supply is vital for the future
- Promote STEM (Science, technology, Engieering and maths) in schools and encourage young people to study these subjects and to then fo on to enjoy careers in science and/or engigneering.
The Pod launched in 2008, is EDF Energy’s award winning schools programme. It is the largest programme of its type in the Industry. As of July 2016, the programme has more than 21,000 registered schools/groups (more than 64% of the schools in the UK), plus 226 schools in 38 other countries across the world.
The team has a deliberate strategy of collaborating with credible and like-minded organisations. These relationships help the Pod to develop really high quality resources, to engage schools and to engender trust with teachers. Current relationships include the Met office, Eco-Schools (the World’s largest environmental schools programme) and the British Trust for Ornithology.
The Pod is now putting a big focus on inspiring young people to take an interest in Science and Engineering. The new partnership with the British Trust for Ornithology has created a really exciting opportunity for children to get outside and be involved in a hands on citizen science project and collect data that has never been recorded before. This experiment is key in understanding the changes in many of the UK’s bird populations.
The Pod covers environmental topics of energy, water, waste, biodiversity and climate science. It offers materials in different media e.g. film, games, information packs, lesson plans etc. to cater for a diverse range of learning styles. All its activities are practical and hands on.
All resources are free to download and can be adapted to an individual’s needs. The team have found that the most successful way to engage schools is through mass participation campaigns. Feedback has shown that children are really inspired by being part of something thousands of their peers are doing at the same time. Switch Off Fortnight runs in November each year (with 2700 schools taking part in 2015) and Waste Week in March (2213 school took part in 2016). The citizen science experiment is run three times a year. All campaigns are extremely popular and designed to get the whole school engaged.
The Pod is continually evolving and the team regularly consult with teachers and experts in the education sector to ensure it stays ahead of its field and continue to supply what its users need.
Best Practice selected in 2010 by World Forum Lille and updated in 2016 for its evolution.
CONTRIBUTION TO COMPANY PERFORMANCE
- 72% of teachers surveyed in 2015 said that the Pod makes them feel more favourable about EDF Energy.
- 75% of teachers surveyed in 2015 said that the Pod made it easier for them to teach about energy.