2022 Re-Energy Challenge Showcase

Registered Learners

Participating Schools

Renewable Energy Technologies Built

The Re-Energy Challenge

This hands-on STEAM challenge tasks learners with building a working model of any renewable energy technology. Through the activities and lessons in GreenLearning's Re-Energy Program, learners  become renewable energy engineers and explore firsthand the solutions that are helping to create a more sustainable future.

Challenge Winners

First Place $1,000

 Hunter's Glen Public School, Grades 3-4
Scarborough, Ontario

Building, testing and comparing two different solar oven models, Ms Energy Saver’s re-energy engineers engaged over 400 people in learning about solar energy this year. 
Design 1
Their first design was an adapted model of GreenLearning’s Solar Oven Construction Plan. They made several thoughtful and effective improvements to the model, including:
  • Replacing the painted black aluminum foil tin with a black cast iron warming plate as the cooking vessel.
  • Using an extra large oven bag that both the thermometer and dish could fit inside to help keep the heat in as much as possible.
  • Using recycled materials found at school and at home, including using a a box recycled from the school snack program as the base, using a large piece of cardboard from a home purchase of a patio piece, and using ripped paper from some leftover book club forms.
Design 2
To further understand solar energy, Ms Energy Saver’s students decided to build a second model they had researched on the internet. Feeling it was something that was accessible and could easily be replicated at home they decided to build a pizza box solar oven. Following their experiment, they identified several ways to improve this model, including:
  • Creating a bigger hole in the lid to cook the food faster.
  • More tin foil along the sides so it reflects the sun's light and heat into the box.
In addition to using multiple designs and various recycled materials, Ms Energy Saver’s students wanted to see if being close to the source of energy had an effect on their solar oven’s efficiency. They tested their first model on both the school’s roof and the ground. They found that on the roof they were able to monitor the temperature increase better and leave the oven out longer, which yielded better results.

Eager to share their learning, Ms Energy Saver’s class created a powerpoint presentation and delivered it to various grade 1-6 classes in their school. They also wrote an article about their project for their school newsletter and were able to show some of their peers the solar ovens in action. One of the students even created a song to highlight their choice of renewable energy:
“Mr. Sun” by Raffi:
Oh Mr. Sun, sun, Mr Golden sun
Please shine your solar energy on me.
Oh Mr. Sun, sun, Mr. Golden sun 
You’re not harmful to the earth, you’re healthy
These little children are asking you 
To come out to light up our solar panels 
And give us light too
Oh Mr. sun, sun, Mr Golden sun 
You are not creating pollution.
Oh Mr Sun Sun Mr Golden Sun 
Please make the day shiny for the wildlife.
Oh Mr. Sun, sun, Mr Golden sun
Please shine your solar energy on me.
Oh Mr. Sun, sun, Mr. Golden sun 
You’re not harmful to the earth, you’re healthy
These little children are asking you 
To come out to light up our solar panels 
And give us light too
Oh Mr Sun, Sun, Mr Golden Sun 
Please make the day shiny and safe for the wildlife.
Oh Mr. Sun, Sun Mr. Golden sun will you please shine down on me.

Second Place $500

 Urban Acres Explorers, Grades 4-5
Sherwood Park, Alberta

Reaching temperatures of up to 65oC, Ms. Liz's students overcame several obstacles to build an impressive and innovative solar oven. With unique features, such as using an up-cycled fresnel lens from a television to magnify the sun's rays and a rod to hang the food from and keep it level while angling the oven towards the sun, this solar oven is sure to cook up some tasty foods! 
They invited friends from their community to come watch a presentation they prepare on their solar oven and all they learned from this project. When asked what renewable energy technology they would choose to power their community, one learner say "I would recommend hydro because after energy is gathered through the dam, you could filter the water and use it for drinking water. Then it would have 2 purposes!" and the other's response can be viewed in the video below. 
Once their solar oven was complete and tested, Ms. Liz's students identified a couple of improvements they would make to increase the efficiency of their solar oven, including:

  • Seal up all potential heat escapes.
  • Use the thicker tin foil.

Despite the challenges of the task, being in the midst of both a renovation and moving homes, Ms. Liz's students showed great resilience in completing their solar oven build.

Third Place $250

 St. Francis Xavier, Grade 12
Edmonton, Alberta

Approaching this challenge in small groups, Ms Boulton's students were creative in both the design and materials of their solar ovens. All materials used were recycled or waste, including the plastic cover to an old picture frame, which was an excellent cover for one of the ovens. They reached temperatures of over 65oC, despite the outside temperature being around 12oC!
Ms Boulton's students involved other science classes at their school in their projects. They engaged two classes in evaluating the designs of their projects and presented their final solar ovens to various science classes, who completed a reflection of their learning. They also shared their learning and sustainable message through their school's social media channels. 
Using Wall-E as the spokesperson for the ovens was also an innovative idea from one of our students, because in the movie, he went through garbage to find treasures, and the message of that movie is to work towards sustainability.

When ask what renewable energy technology they would choose to power their community, one student responded:

“Solar energy comes directly from the sun rather than harmful fossil fuels, therefore much better for the environment and also much cheaper to use.
In Edmonton, 87% of our power comes from coal and natural gas. Although solar energy is expensive for installation, it is overall more efficient cost wise and consumption wise compared to fossil fuels. When producing electricity through the use of fossil fuels it takes millions of years for the sun’s energy to be converted into the potential chemical energy stored in plants and animals. Then as these fossil fuels are brought into power stations, they are heated up and create kinetic energy by turning large turbines. Those large turbines are connected to a generator that finally converts the kinetic energy into electricity used in our homes. As you can see solar energy is simpler and more efficient than fossil fuels.”

Honorable Mention

Holy Cross School, Grades 7-8
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Showing that age and location are no obstacles for this young re-energy engineer, Dr. B. and Mr. F.'s student built working models of both a wind turbine and solar panels. Entering in the Holy Cross School Science Fair and the Bison Regional Science Fair, this student demonstrated leadership, initiative and resilience as they shared their learnings about renewable energy this year.
After building their models, the student identified that their wind turbine model needed a more secure base and that in the future, they hope to build a renewable energy model that can power a model home! 

When asked what renewable energy technology they would choose to power their community, the student said:

"Wind power, it can be set up anywhere. The fuel source is free. Some places are better locations than others, but everywhere can have a wind turbine set up that generates power. 

Re-Energy In Action

Celebrating the many different ways learners and educators from across Canada were engaged in creating a circular economy for plastics through GreenLearning's Re-Energy Program.

Learners Participated in a Classroom Workshop or Event

Educators Participated in a Professional Development Session

Student and Teacher Sessions Delivered

Harnessing The Wind Pre-Recorded Workshop

GreenLearning facilitated curriculum-connected classroom workshops that engaged and inspired students from across Canada to think creatively about conserving energy and taking climate action. Click below to watch (or bookmark) a Re-Energy classroom workshop for grades 7-12, that was featured in Learning for a Sustainable Future's 2021-2022 Youth Forums:
“I feel hopeful that we can have a more sustainable future.” 

Grade 12 Participant, Alberta

"We felt very supported and thankful for the quick responses in communication. This has been an incredible experience for all of us. We look forward to joining again next year!"

Elizabeth Urban, Manitoba

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