Using films as teaching resources

Our films give short, interesting overviews of the achievements of awards winners – how they have made a difference to communities and the environment by using sustainable energy solutions. They are freely available to download, and can be used to stimulate and support pupil understanding of problems and solutions. If you don’t use this website for anything else, at least spend five minutes watching one of the films yourself!

There are more films on our website. If you want to follow up the content in more detail, then reports on the winners can be found here.

  • Use the films as key resources with our detailed activities.
  • Use the films by themselves using our quick activities and key questions guide (pdf file).
  • Learn about the everyday lives of real families and communities.
  • Find practical solutions to environmental and social problems.

Making a difference

Introductory film on global warming and sustainable energy solutions.

  • Introductory sequence shows causes and possible effects of global warming.
  • School children explain the reasons for concern, and what they are doing to make a difference.
  • Short sequences from other films show sustainable energy solutions in different countries.

Used in Activities: 'What is energy?', 'What is global warming?'

AID Foundation, Philippines

AID use water-powered Ram pumps to pump clean water from valleys up to hillside communities.

  • The energy in the water itself does the pumping.
  • Saves carrying water up steep, dangerous hillsides.
  • Clean water for drinking and washing improves health, as well as helping agriculture.
  • 100 villages have been supplied.

Used in Activities: 'Investigating energy technologies.'

Cassop Primary School, County Durham, UK

Cassop gets most of its energy from renewables, and the use of sustainable energy is integrated into the curriculum, within a broad focus on social responsibility.

  • 50 kW wind turbine which generates about 50 MWh of electricity per year.
  • Wood-pellet boiler, which burns pellets produced locally from recycled waste wood.
  • Photovoltaic (PV) array with safety rail and stairs to allow access for visitors.
  • Regular visits from other schools and pupils as ambassadors.

Used in Activities: 'Making choices', 'I want to be in the Energy Team', 'Thinking about electricity', 'Making an action plan for change', 'Investigating energy technologies', 'Problems or solutions?'

CEEAC, Cumbria, UK

The Cumbria Energy Efficiency Advice Centre helps local people to make their homes more energy-efficient.

  • Over 9,200 cavity walls and 5,300 lofts insulated, and a range of other measures.
  • Saving over 12,500 tonnes/year of carbon dioxide.
  • Householders save over £1.6 million/year in reduced fuel bills.
  • Homes are more comfortable and health is better.

Used in Activities: 'Making an action plan for change', 'Energising the community.'

CRT, Nepal

The Centre for Rural Technology has improved traditional water mills so that they can grind grain more quickly, and run other equipment as well. Over 2,400 mills have been upgraded.

  • Mills work faster so that customers are happy and millers earn more.
  • Flour tastes better than when diesel mills are used.
  • Other equipment including electric generators can be used with the mill.

Used in Activities: 'Making choices', 'Thinking about quality of life.'

DAXU Bio-energy, China

Daxu has developed an efficient cooking stove which burns widely-available crop waste instead of coal or wood. Over 25,000 stoves have been installed.

  • Kitchens are cleaner.
  • Stoves can heat water for washing as well as cooking.
  • Each stove can save 8 tonne/year of carbon dioxide if the family previously cooked on coal.

Used in Activities: 'Problems or solutions?'

Eastchurch Primary School, Kent, UK

Eastchurch has a culture of good energy housekeeping through active pupil participation, which is integrated in the curriculum.

  • Energy Monitors are responsible for individual classrooms, and an 'E-team' checks the whole school.
  • Low-energy lighting, covered areas to reduce heat loss from doors and energy-efficient kitchen equipment.
  • A 3 kWp photovoltaic (PV) array with prominent display of performance.
  • Regular visits from other schools and pupils as ambassadors.

Used in Activities: 'What is energy?', 'Making choices', 'Being energy wise', 'I want to be in the Energy Team', 'Making an action plan for change', 'Energising the local community.'

Ecotricity, UK

Ecotricity has increased the supply of wind-powered electricity in the UK, using small wind-farms on industrial sites.

  • 11 wind farms, deliver 46 MWh/year of renewable electricity.
  • Good support from local people, because of careful siting.
  • Save over 20,000 tonnes/year of carbon dioxide.

Used in Activities: 'What is global warming?', 'Thinking about electricity', 'Investigating energy technologies.'

GIRA, Mexico: efficient wood stoves

GIRA has developed the efficient 'Patsari' stove for making tortillas and general household cooking. 3,500 stoves sold and installed.

  • About 95% of rural Mexican households cook with wood on open fires.
  • Thousands of women cook on open fires all day to make tortillas to sell.
  • Fuelwood use is halved using Patsari stove.
  • Users greatly appreciate having cleaner, smoke-free kitchens.
  • Significant improvements in health occur, because of the reduction in smoke.

Used in Activities: 'Energising the community', 'Investigating energy technologies.'

IDEI, India: treadle pumps

IDEI has commercialised cheap treadle pumps for irrigation in rural areas of North East India. Over 510,000 pumps have been sold.

  • Region has enough water, but water has to be pumped from below ground.
  • Poor farmers could not afford diesel pumps and often migrated to cities for work.
  • Treadle pumps are simple for people of all ages to operate.
  • Poor farmers can cultivate and sell a variety of crops outside the normal growing season.
  • Cost of the pump can be paid back from the profits of one extra harvest.

Used in Activities: 'What is energy?', 'Investigating energy technologies', 'Problems or solutions?', 'Thinking about quality of life.'

KXN, Nigeria

KXN use solar-powered vaccine refrigerators, so that vaccines can be kept cold and used effectively in remote areas.

  • Vaccines must be kept cold right until they are used, otherwise they become ineffective.
  • 190 vaccine refrigerators installed.
  • Each refrigerator can hold 72,000 doses of polio vaccine.
  • Supports the national immunization programme.

Used in Activities: 'Thinking about quality of life.'

MRHP, Tanzania: crop residues as fuel

MRHP has trained villagers in Northern Tanzania to set up enterprises making high-quality bricks from local clay, fired with agricultural residues like rice husks. Over 100,000 homes have been built with these bricks.

  • Using wood to fire bricks is a major cause of deforestation.
  • Homes built with un-fired bricks get damaged by rain.
  • Residue-fired bricks provide durable, clean homes, and homeowners no longer have to re-build and repair frequently.
  • Using residue combats deforestation.
  • Plenty of residues available, which previously went to waste.

Used in Activities: 'Thinking about quality of life.'

NEST, India

NEST has developed cheap, portable solar-powered lanterns to replace smoky, dangerous kerosene lamps.

  • Each year many people die in fires caused by kerosene lamps.
  • Solar lantern is small and cheap.
  • 40,000 lamps have been sold in villages.

Used in Activities: 'Thinking about quality of life.'

Nishant Bioenergy, India

Nishant has developed a cooking stove for schools which runs on crop-waste briquettes rather than liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

  • Stove can cook a meal for up to 600 pupils at a time.
  • Food tastes like home cooking!
  • Crop-waste briquettes are cheaper than LPG.

Used in Activities: 'What is global warming?'

Nottinghamshire County Council, UK

Nottinghamshire CC is reducing carbon emissions by heating schools with sustainably-produced wood pellets instead of coal.

  • Former coal mining area, where many schools used coal for heating.
  • Wood pellets are now being produced from sustainable wood in Nottinghamshire.
  • Some coal boilers have been converted to use pellets, others have been replaced with new boilers made by local firms.

Used in Activities: 'What is global warming?', 'Making an action plan for change', 'Problems or solutions?'

Practical Action, Peru

Practical Action has used micro-hydro plants to supply electricity to homes and small businesses in remote villages in the Andes.

  • Mountain villages have no mains power.
  • Micro-hydro provides electricity for homes, schools, small businesses and entertainment.
  • Less people move to cities when there is electricity in their village.

Used in Activities: 'Being energy wise', 'Thinking about electricity', 'Investigating energy technologies', 'Thinking about quality of life.'

Seaton Primary School, Devon, UK

Seaton generates renewable electricity and heat, and emphasises efficiency in behavious and new buildings.

  • 2.5 kW wind turbine and 4.7 kW PV array, with live monitoring data on website.
  • Solar water-heating for school swimming pool.
  • Eco-club monitors energy use.

Used in Activities: 'What is energy?', 'Making choices', 'I want to be in the energy team', 'Thinking about electricity', 'Problems or solutions?'

SEEDS, Sri Lanka: solar electricity

SEEDS has provided affordable loan finance to enable families to buy and install about 52,000 solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in rural areas of Sri Lanka.

  • 55% of households in Sri Lanka have grid electricity, but only 40% in rural areas.
  • PV provides better light, without the smoke and fire-risk of kerosene lamps.
  • Families enjoy communications and entertainment.
  • Businesses can develop with reliable lighting.

Used in Activities: 'Thinking about electricity.'

SELCO, India

SELCO has solar-powered electricity for lighting and other services to low-income households and institutions.

  • 71,000 small solar systems sold to homes, businesses and institutions.
  • Marker vendors save money on gas lights and display their produce better.
  • Electric sewing machines help women produce more clothes.
  • Micro-loans for purchase can be paid back from savings and increased profits.

Used in Activities: 'Being energy wise.'

Shaanxi Mothers, China: biogas from manure

The Shaanxi Mothers federation has installed plants which produce biogas for cooking from pig and human manure, in 1,300 rural households in Shaanxi Province.

  • Most people in rural China cook on coal or wood, which produces pollution and deforestation.
  • Biogas plants produce enough gas for all household cooking.
  • Kitchens are cleaner because of reduced smoke.
  • Health improvements from hygienic management of waste and reduced indoor air pollution.
  • Using biogas combats deforestation and global warming.

Used in Activities: 'Investigating energy technologies.'

Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha, Bangladesh

Shidhulai has solar electricity on 44 boats to bring education and information to water-side families in remote parts of Bangladesh.

  • Boat-schools visit each village every day to provide pre-primary education.
  • Adult literacy and agricultural education supported.
  • Films shown on boats in evenings.

Used in Activities: 'Being energy wise', 'Thinking about electricity', 'Thinking about quality of life.'

SKG Sangha, India

SKG has biogas plants which use cow dung to make biogas for cooking and high-quality compost.

  • 43,000 plants installed in homes.
  • Some have ‘vermicomposting’ unit, which uses worms to make high-quality fertiliser from biogas residue.
  • Sale of vermicompost can double household income.

Used in Activities: 'Thinking about quality of life.'

TWP/AHDESA, Honduras

TWP and AHDESA have provided stoves which save wood and reduce air pollution to rural and urban households.

  • Women cook indoors for long hours, making tortillas to sell and cooking meals.
  • Improved stove halves wood use and saves money.
  • Chimney takes smoke out of the kitchen and improves health.

Used in Activities: 'What is global warming?', 'Thinking about quality of life.'

Woodheys Primary School, Trafford, UK

Woodheys has reduced energy consumption through emphasising energy efficiency. Pupils read meters and check classrooms for energy wastage.

  • 30% gas saving since 1999.
  • Pupils encourage behavioural change at home and in the community.
  • PV array installed in 2005.

Used in Activities: 'What is energy?', 'Being energy wise', 'I want to be in the energy team', 'Making an action plan for change', 'Problems or solutions?'

Zara Solar, Tanzania

Zara has providing solar-powered electricity for lighting and other services to homes, orphanages and other institutions.

  • Only 2% of people in rural areas have mains electricity.
  • Small solar home system can supply lighting, and small electrical appliances.
  • Mobile phone networks now cover northern Tanzania, and solar systems can power phone chargers.

Used in Activities: 'Investigating energy technologies.'