Guelph Hydro Electric Systems Inc.

Guelph Hydro Electric Systems Inc.

January 23, 2012 15:59 ET

Ingenious Energy Conservation Comic Challenge Inspires Kids to Conserve Electricity

Grade Five Students Create Webcomics to Demonstrate Ways to Save Energy

GUELPH, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 23, 2012) - Guelph Hydro Electric Systems Inc. has launched the Guelph Hydro Energy Conservation Comic Challenge* encouraging students in Grade Five classrooms in 35 schools in Guelph and Rockwood, Ontario, to create original Bitstrips comic strips to demonstrate how to conserve electricity in their homes and schools.

Bitstrips (www.bitstripsforschools.com) (http://bit.ly/UsingBitstripsinSchools) is a Canadian, web-based educational tool licensed by the Ontario Ministry of Education for use in all publicly funded schools as well as faculties of education in Ontario universities. The simple-to-use website enables students as young as five-years-old to create comic strips that tell a story - all without having to draw a line. More than 300,000 students have used Bitstrips in classrooms across Ontario this school year, creating more than two million comics.

Guelph Hydro worked with the Bitstrips development team to create a novel Energy Conservation Comic Challenge that teachers can assign to their classes. Children are asked to design a comic that explains why saving electricity is important and shows ways electricity can be saved around their home or school. Students create characters, choose a backdrop and use props such as appliances, computer equipment, and even a smart meter, to convey their message.

Under the Guelph Hydro Energy Conservation Comic Challenge, all Grade 5 classes in the Upper Grand District School Board and Wellington Catholic District School Board in Guelph and Rockwood are eligible to participate in a draw for two iPad® mobile digital devices (one winning class per school board), pre-loaded with energy conservation applications that can be used in the classroom. Children in the winning classrooms will also receive an energy conservation-related prize. A selection of the best entries will be featured on the Guelph Hydro website and published in a downloadable anthology.

Interested in Trying Out Bitstrips for Energy Conservation?

Although the Guelph Hydro Energy Conservation Comic Challenge is restricted to classrooms in Guelph and Rockwood, ALL teachers in Ontario can use the Bitstrips activity with their students and teachers from outside of Ontario may sign up for a free 30-day trial of the website by visiting www.bitstripsforschools.com . Others interested in experimenting with the Guelph Hydro Energy Conservation Comic Challenge may send an email to obtain access to Guelph Hydro at comics@guelphhydro.com.

® iPad is a registered trademark of Apple Inc.

*Terms and conditions apply. Email comics@guelphhydro.com for details.

QUOTES

"Kids love comics and it is fascinating to watch how quickly even very young children learn to use Bitstrips to create their own comics. By asking Grade 5 students to design a comic with an energy conservation theme, they have to think carefully about actions they can take to conserve electricity and reduce greenhouse gases. Learning happens spontaneously as they develop their messages and create their comics."

Sandy Manners

Director of Corporate Communications

Guelph Hydro Inc.

"Our students have been using Bitstrips for a few years with great success. It is amazing how engaged and focused the students are when they are using the program. The opportunity to create comics for an important purpose, like energy conservation, is fantastic."

Andrew Strimas

Grade 5 Teacher

Upper Grand District School Board

"Students enjoy taking part in something meaningful, especially when it comes to environmental issues, because they know that their small, positive actions have an impact on a larger global scale. This creative activity is a wonderful opportunity to engage students and allow them to demonstrate their ability to be good stewards of the earth."

Paula Dawson

Superintendent of Program

Wellington Catholic District School Board

"This activity gives teachers a creative and fun way to get kids talking about a topic that's of universal relevance. We're looking forward to seeing the amazing things students come up with."

Jacob Blackstock

CEO

Bitstrips

About Guelph Hydro Electric Systems Inc.

Guelph Hydro Electric Systems Inc. delivers a safe and reliable supply of electricity to 50,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Guelph and Rockwood. For more information, visit: www.guelphhydroinc.com.

About Bitstrips for Schools

Located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Bitstrips Inc. is the company behind Bitstrips for Schools, the innovative educational website that has been used by over a million teachers and students around the world to create eight million original comic strips. It features fun and easy-to-use tools that enable any student to make professional-looking comics without drawing a line, and turns any topic into a creative and collaborative classroom activity. For more information, visit: www.bitstripsforschools.com.

About Upper Grand District School Board

The Upper Grand District School Board serves approximately 32,000 students in 59 elementary schools and 11 secondary schools in the City of Guelph, County of Wellington and County of Dufferin.

For more information, visit: www.ugdsb.on.ca.

About Wellington Catholic District School Board

The Wellington Catholic District School Board serves approximately 8,000 students in 17 elementary schools and three secondary schools in the City of Guelph, and Wellington County.

For more information, visit: www.wellingtoncssb.edu.on.ca.

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