Momentum - Future leaders
Mohawk College launches Climate Change Leaders, which will see students learn through real-world data
Pictured: Clockwise from top left: Casey Goossens, TCI Business Development, Domenic Maniccia, Manager Facility Services GEDSB, Marie Cresswell, President Thomas Cole Inc., Tim Cresswell, CEO Thomas Cole Inc., Tony Cupido, Research Chair, Sustainability at Mohawk’s IDEAWORKS
Ten school boards have made commitments to set carbon reduction goals and to partner with Mohawk College to bring climate change curriculum and awareness of low-carbon alternatives into elementary and secondary classrooms.
Climate Change Leaders will see Mohawk introduce micro-credits in climate change in which students learn from the energy use data collected in their schools and boards.
The goal is to both create understanding of sustainability beginning at a young age and to generate interest in low-carbon trades as a future career path. The model can be scaled across Canada.
Schools present an opportunity to be living labs of sustainability when it comes to energy consumption and clean air, says Tony Cupido, Research Chair, Sustainability at Mohawk’s IDEAWORKS.
“We want students to learn about building systems and to understand how buildings work. That’s important for the future we face.”
An early aspect in the initiative was the installation of new air purification equipment in the ventilation systems in up to 10 schools. The project is a partnership between Mohawk, the Grand Erie District School Board, and Stoney Creek’s NERVA Energy Group.
The technology, which has been shown to boost energy efficiency and reduce the spread of pathogens – including COVID-19 – through the circulation of air, has been used worldwide for years but has yet to be used in schools in Canada. Students will learn from the data generated by the new system and it is expected that absenteeism due to illness will be reduced.
“What impressed us the most about Mohawk’s Climate Change Leaders partnership was the focus on creating capacity and capability in clean technology and sustainability but above all, their actions to empower students to contribute to Canada’s efforts to meet our carbon reduction targets (Paris Accord),” said Rob Hallewick, CEO of NERVA Energy.