More than 60 entries were submitted for the Energy Up School award, promoted by the Galp Foundation with the aim of rewarding school projects geared to the promotion of environmental awareness and more efficient energy consumption in the educational community. This figure in itself is a victory for all the participants, one of the most noteworthy of which was the Gafanha da Nazaré School Group from the district of Aveiro, which eventually took first place with their SmartAir project designed for the promotion of sustainable mobility.
The purpose of the project is to raise the awareness of citizens in the region to the use of bicycles, conducting campaigns and pressing for the improvement of access routes for the use of non-polluting means, all of which is based on scientific data, with a constant assessment of levels of atmospheric pollution, obtained through the use of CO2 measurement kits powered by renewable energy and built by the students themselves.
The project, which began by uniting the entire school community, was later extended to family members and neighbours, the district´s business network and the local government itself (the town and parish councils), and is ongoing. It has already guaranteed this school group an award sponsored by EI - Energia Independente, a company specialising in photovoltaic solar self-consumption, who intend to install a series of solar panels at the school valued at up to 20,000 euros. A prize that, as teachers Manuel Santos and Teresa Pacheco, in charge of the project, emphasise, “has been achieved by the students and must also therefore be for the students”