Home, Sustainable development

The Solar for East Story

Solar For East is a student-led initiative that aims to implement more sustainable energy sources for the East Campus of United World College of Southeast Asia (UWCSEA). In early September 2017, fourteen Grade 9 students with a passion for clean energy, as well as the Facilities Department met to discuss the pressing issue of the school’s carbon footprint, as well as the possibility of launching a solar panel initiative on the campus. They then proceeded to create a proposal to share to the Board in November 2017, which was approved. As part of the UWC mission, this project aims to foster community awareness and spirit on the issues of clean energy and climate change, as well as allows the students involved to experience creating change and to take a lead in making a difference for the planet. The team is now currently working to install 1,130 panels across four different locations over the next few years in order to reduce the school’s dependency on unsustainable energy sources and reduce their impact on the environment.

Right now, the East campus consumes 5975 megawatts per hour of electricity each year. Electricity generation alone emits 7.65 billion tonnes of CO2 each year, clearly showing that our use of energy is unsustainable and a solution is needed, fast. Energy-related ventures alone account for 86% of all human-related greenhouse gases, and this pressing issue has become a lot more apparent in recent years, from droughts and floods to drowning polar bears. Luckily, many countries including Singapore are heavily contributing to working with renewable energy by funding renewable energy projects as well as the physical installation of solar panels. As the students did more research, the amount of carbon dioxide produced at their school inspired them to take action. UWCSEA emits approximately 2,480,363.17 Kgs of carbon annually, greatly contributing to the issue of climate change. With this initiative, we hope to save 173,625.4219 Kgs of carbon from being emitted into the atmosphere, which will not only reduce the amount of money spent on energy but also greatly reduce the impact the school is having on the environment and global warming.

But how can you get involved?

1. Make a donation towards solar panel
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Buying a solar panel to go on the roof of UWCSEA East Campus would greatly help our impact on the planet, and just one solar panel would save 3,499.17 kg of CO2 from being emitted into the atmosphere. For a gift of $600 you can buy a whole solar panel, or alternatively, buy parts of a panel for a lower price. Each dollar donated saves the emission of 5.83 kg of CO2 into the atmosphere, so simply go on to the Solar For East website to make your contribution.

2. Reduce your reliance on air conditioners

The energy used by air conditioners is equivalent to the energy used by 11 fans. By switching to using a fan, you can save $400 every year. Even by letting the AC run for a little while, you can still save about $340 every year by using a fan.

3. Reduce energy wastage by turning off power sockets
We can save around $25 a year just by simply turning off unused power sockets. Use power strips instead and turn off groups of appliances when unneeded.

4. Practice sustainable consumerism
Rule: The more ticks, the better. You can save $270 a year with a 5 tick air conditioner and $75 a year with a 3 tick refrigerator.

5. Use appliances effectively
Only wash full loads of dishes and clothes and air dry them if possible. Save around $110 a year by switching off water heaters after use.

6. Cook smarter
Use microwaves and toasters to cook or warm leftovers. Keep the oven door closed while cooking as the temperature can drop by 25 degrees each time you open the door.

Following these 6 steps will bring us closer and closer to a cleaner tomorrow, and one step closer to ending global warming.

Our objective has always been to provide clean, sustainable energy solutions to the community of UWCSEA East, and with the help of an initial funding from the board and a lot of hard work, our goal can now be accomplished! We are now working directly on sales, as we set up our crowd-funding system in order to raise funds for panels. Our aim is to sell approximately 100 panels by the end of six months. We are working closely with the UWCSEA Foundation for the marketing of our campaign, and hope to gain support from all members of the community, including students, parents, alumni, and parents of alumni.

This blog post was written by the students leading the Solar for East initiative.

Home, Scholarship programme

Success! Mikael Mörn’s Big Mountain Challenge

Mikael Mörn ’92 and member of the UWCSEA Foundation Leadership Council, climbed not one but three of the world’s most remote mountain peaks, Mount Ararat (Turkey), Mount Damavand (Iran) and Mount Elbrus (Russia) in 2018 in aid of generating funds for a new UWCSEA scholarship opportunity.

From astride a mountain peak, Mikael sent a message to the alumni community, inspiring them to get involved and help make a difference. And how they rose to the challenge! As a result, UWCSEA will open its’ doors to a new scholar in August 2019. The goal is to offer this scholarship to a young person who has come from difficult circumstances, potentially as an Internally Displaced Person (IDP), and give them the opportunity of a life-changing UWC education.

“I do not know a group of more positive and passionate leaders of tomorrow than UWCSEA graduates – within that cohort, the grit and determination of scholars, who have often risen from incredibly challenging circumstances, makes them changemakers to watch!” Mikael Mörn

Read Mikael’s expedition blog here.

A huge thank you to Mikael for undertaking this extraordinary feat in support of the UWCSEA Scholarship Programme. Not only did his challenge raise substantial funds, but it also saw members of the alumni community come out in droves to support and cheer him on, rooting for his success, every step of the way!

 

Sustainable development

Students advocating for solar energy

What began as a Grade 5 Expo project has become a campus-wide mission to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels as Solar for East launches this month.

The East Campus programme follows in the footsteps of the hugely successful Solar for Dover initiative, which has installed over 565 solar panels across two buildings since it began in 2014. Now into the fourth year of operation, Solar for Dover remains a popular activity for Middle and High School students, and the team is currently just 20 panels away from reaching their 2017/2018 installation goal.

Continue reading “Students advocating for solar energy”

Scholarship programme

Focus on Scholarships: Emmy-award winning filmmaker and advocate for social justice

Kibi Anderson, Class of 1996 and scholar from the USA, spent her childhood supporting political campaigns to elect people who were fighting for equality for marginalised communities. Her mother was heavily involved in local politics at the time and was one of a small group of women of colour running for office and asserting the rights of women to have a seat at the political table. It was this early experience and passion for social justice, education and female empowerment that inspired Kibi to apply to be part of the UWC movement.

Continue reading “Focus on Scholarships: Emmy-award winning filmmaker and advocate for social justice”

Events, Scholarship programme, Sustainable development, Teaching and Learning, UWCSEA Endowment

Donor Celebration Event 2018

On Tuesday 20th of February, over 140 members from the UWCSEA donor community came together to celebrate the impact of giving to the College.

Held in the lush surroundings of Hort Park, the annual Donor Celebration event showcased a range of programmes that gifts have made possible such as Solar for DoverAdopt a Tree, the Rainforest Restoration Project and IDEAS Hub.  With over 70 students (including members of our scholar and boarding community) in attendance, the evening was a fantastic opportunity to engage with those currently living and learning the UWC values.

Continue reading “Donor Celebration Event 2018”