“Education is the most powerful tool we can use to change the world.” This phrase belongs to Nelson Mandela and perfectly illustrates the path we all need to take if we want a more sustainable future, if we really want to have a sustainable planet. It’s just that without the involvement of the younger generation in achieving this goal, which should be in front of everyone – protecting the environment and using more sustainable energy solutions – it will be difficult for us to achieve the necessary goals to benefit from a healthier world. And education, as we all know (and the Nobel Peace Prize winner confirmed it), is the most effective engine of change we have.
It is for this reason that Galp and its foundation created the Future Up educational project, which involves children, youth, teachers and schools, as well as partners and volunteers from all over the country, with the goal of being part of the change. How? The answer is simple: to promote not only the teaching of topics related to sustainability, energy and the planet, but also to encourage the active participation of all, offering new ideas and solutions for the future.
Energy Up Award – Involving Schools in Everyone’s Future
One aspect of the Future Up project is the Energy Up Award, which this academic year once again recognizes school projects in the areas of energy efficiency and/or sustainable mobility. In this way, Galp invites schools to address the issue of energy transition and implement projects that have an impact on society in the context of energy efficiency, encouraging students to take an active part in this mission.
The award will recognize national schools (on the mainland and islands) that have invested in the energy sustainability of the school community through exemplary projects developed over the past five years. In other words, schools in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd cycles of basic education (CCA), as well as secondary and vocational education, can participate by presenting implemented or ongoing projects aimed at stimulating the consumption of more efficient energy in the respective educational community, thanks to sustainable and innovative solutions.
The winning school will be awarded the installation of solar panels worth up to 20,000 euros. There will also be a prize for the best project by level of education (1st CEB; 2nd/3rd CEB; secondary/vocational education) in the amount of one thousand euros. The Energy Up Award is a competition organized by the Galp Foundation and Galp Solar with the support of their institutional partners, namely the Portuguese Environmental Protection Agency (APA), the Energy Agency (ADENE), the Directorate General of Energy and Geology (DGEG) and General Directorate of Education (DGE).
Submit your school project and win!
Teachers interested in submitting a project developed in their school for the Energy Up 2022/23 award must complete the application form by April 28. The regulation of the initiative is available here and all doubts can be clarified in this support document or by emailing [email protected]. The winning schools will be announced on May 29, National Energy Day, through the Galp Foundation’s communications channels.
Projects awarded for their excellence
In the 2022 edition, the big winner was Francisco Manuel de Melo’s EB 2,3 D school in Amadora thanks to the “INOV D Project, Upgrade Your School, Inova Portugal”. At stake is a project that over the past few years has fostered entrepreneurship and innovation among energy students by encouraging creative problem solving and prototyping, such as stoves and solar-powered cars. In the 2021/2022 academic year, they decided to model a company for 2050 that would be energy sustainable, in addition to selling green products.
Last academic year, the first place on the podium belonged to the school group Gafanha da Nazaré, which competed against the SmartAir project aimed at promoting sustainable mobility. In particular, the project proposed to raise awareness of the resumption of cycling using mobility diagnostics, information campaigns and a call for improved access to the use of environmentally friendly vehicles. As an addendum, it also included the assessment of atmospheric pollution levels and the creation of CO2 measuring kits powered by renewable energy sources.
Bring Future Up to every school
The Future Up educational movement also includes a strong didactic component, so teachers can request Energy Up classes in their schools. The main goal is to raise awareness and promote energy transition and sustainable mobility among students and the entire school community. The classes offered last an hour and a half and their content is adapted to different levels of education.
Also available and ready to use on the website of the initiative are various supporting materials (worksheets, support guides and games) suitable for different education cycles (1st CEB and 2nd, 3rd CEB and secondary education) and covering topics such as energy, energy efficiency, sustainable mobility, sustainable development goals and others.
Since 2010, Galp’s educational projects have already reached 2.2 million students and teachers in more than 20,000 schools around the country, with more than 600 volunteers, through more than 5,200 energy classes.
This year, the Future Up initiative is funded by the Energy Efficiency Improvement Plan (PPEC), an energy efficiency project support and development tool approved by the Energy Services Regulatory Authority (ERSE).