Rob Farr (The energy MC) is really funny and full of an infectious enthusiasm for all things to do with science. He told us all about how even a tiny wasps is smart enough to live in a sustainable way. They lay their eggs on mussel scale bugs eggs which eat them as they hatch but always leave enough eggs untouched so that there will be enough for the next generation.
Rob told us about how wonderful oil was not just as a source of cheap energy but a raw material for plastics, but sadly we are using it all up too fast.
Rob played a version of Family fortunes which was fun and we learnt about the different sources of fuel for power generation. Fossil fuels (Oil, gas and coal) are by far the most widely used but they will eventually run out.
Our first session was with our friend Tim from the BikeIt project. He had made a generator from recycled materials with a number of different bulbs of different wattages attached to it. As we cycled we would turn a small wheel which in turn spun a generator producing electricity, the more bulbs that were switched on the greater the 'load' and the harder we needed to pedal to keep the lights on.
Tim reminded us that we needed to switch off all electrical items, as one of the side effects of producing more energy is of course morepollution. You can see some of the tips we put in last years' newsletter to reduce energy and our 'switch off fortnight' too.
He also reminded us that Cycling is not just about getting to places quickly & cheaply( & being able to park) it gives you a free work out and keeps you healthy and is of course lots of fun too.
Sarah from Cardiff Council's sustainable development department told us all about the concept of carbon footprint and CO2 emissions. We looked at bio fuels and talked about how trees lock up CO2. People have always burnt Peat but is it sustainable?
We ate our sandwiches and went to the local park to stretch our legs and practice even more photography. We also collected some seeds to take back to school.
After lunch we went into the Hall again and listened to Paul Hannaby tell us about his trip to the Antarctic a couple of years ago with our friends from 2041( that is the date when the treaty protecting the Antarctic from exploitation expires.) Some of had visited the yacht -2041 voyage for cleaner energy- when it visited Cardiff in the summer.
Paul showed us some of the kit he wore and some slides of his trip. He also told us about how too much ice is now melting as the earths atmosphere slowly warms up.
Our final session of the day we worked with Rob and made a simple frame from scrap A4 paper rolled up into tubes and taped together. we punched holes in the end and then joined them with a split pin. We knew that we had to brace the frame and eventually we fitted the blades on another frame. we did not get chance to vary the number or size of the blades, but we can do that back in school.
You can see last years event here when it was held at City Hall. Most of the schools in Cardiff are really keen for their children to learn all about these important issues.