A new school subject: climate protection

Back in 2009, pupils of class 12 at the Ferdinand-von-Steinbeis School in Tuttlingen decided to make their own contribution to the energy transition. They were so successful that an elective course was set up just one year later. Since then, every school year up to 20 interested pupils have taken part in a seminar on saving energy. The young people are becoming active themselves and would also like to win over fellow pupils, friends and family for climate protection.

Collage of the Ferdinand-von-Steinbeis- School
Photo credit: Ferdinand-von-Steinbeis-Schule Tuttlingen (b.r.)

Learning to be energy-conscious

The first goal of the course participants is to reduce energy consumption in their school. To this end, they look for energy-saving and optimisation potential and independently develop measures to leverage this potential. They also focus on renewable energies, resource conservation and recycling. The young people are themselves responsible for the energy-saving project and are involved in the school’s energy monitoring, energy management and own energy supply.

Many projects are realised over several years by different generations of pupils. Their list of achievements is impressive. For example, at the pupils’ request, a photovoltaic (PV) system was installed on the roof in 2015, financed entirely by sponsorship money. The PV system now provides about half of the school’s electricity. In addition, every class currently has an “energy officer”. The school switched to recycled paper, the lighting was optimised, smart meters were introduced to record energy consumption, and a pedelec charging station was purchased. The latest project: launching a climate protection award for educational institutions in the Tuttlingen district.

“Over the years, our energy-saving seminar has become a real identifying project at our school.”

Not only the climate benefits from the project – the Ferdinand-von-Steinbeis School does, too. Because the young people learn practical work, acquire specialist knowledge on energy topics and create innovative learning units that other pupils can also work with. 

At a glance: The project in figures

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Pupils

Four questions for the pupils

Your greatest motivation?
We want to raise awareness of climate change, but it is also nice to be part of such an important project.

The biggest challenge?
Ensuring a smooth transition as projects are handed over from year to year.

Your personal highlight?
It feels fantastic when a project is completed. But we are also proud of the achievements of previous classes.

Your insiders’ tip?
If you want to successfully advance an energy project, you need willingness to communicate, enthusiasm and stamina. It is also important to celebrate your achievements. 

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