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Norfolk artists inspire Norwich youngsters in London 2012 project

PUBLISHED: 17:40 30 September 2011 | UPDATED: 17:49 30 September 2011

Environmental artist Liz McGowan, for Artists for Climate Change, makes meter monsters with six-year-old Tyler Gordon, teaching the children that the more electricity is used - the bigger the monster becomes, at Chapel Break Infant School. Picture: Denise Bradley

Environmental artist Liz McGowan, for Artists for Climate Change, makes meter monsters with six-year-old Tyler Gordon, teaching the children that the more electricity is used - the bigger the monster becomes, at Chapel Break Infant School. Picture: Denise Bradley

Archant copyright 2011

Work to combat electricity-eating monsters has started in earnest at a city school as a Norfolk artist inspires youngsters to help save our planet.

Norfolk County Council launched its Artists for Climate Change project earlier this year.

The London 2012 Inspire Mark award-winning project works with artists to encourage children to reduce their energy use and think about their carbon footprint.

It has now entered its latest phase and one of the artists, Liz McGowan, this week went into Chapel Break Infant School in Norwich to work with the children.

Meter readings were also taken at the Bowthorpe school as youngsters now work towards reducing their energy usage.

Deputy headteacher Angela Moore said: “We’ve got off to a really flying start.

“We went on a hunt to see if we could find any monsters that might be eating the electricity and then made beautiful sculptures using recycled materials.

“The children are really interested and really keen. It’s great to draw on their imaginations, and for them to have something tangible which they can help control and make a difference.”

Other schools involved in the project are Happisburgh CE VE Primary School and Thomas Bullock Primary School in Shipdham, near Dereham.

Throughout the UEA Cue East supported project, the artists, Ms McGowan, Kate Munro and Alison Atkins, will work with pupils to create sculptures, performances, written works and paintings that explore issues affecting the climate.

Six families, two from each school, have also been selected to take part and it is hoped that they will be able to share what they have learned with their local communities, championing carbon reduction in their area.

Scientists from the University of East Anglia will assess their progress and if the project is successful, it could be used as an energy reduction programme across the county’s schools.

The Sale family is one of the families taking part in the project. Married mum-of-two Mrs Sale, whose seven-year-old daughter Chloe is at Chapel Break Infant School, said: “My husband and I were interested in energy-saving before to help save the planet for our daughters and now we’re trying to cut down our energy and our waste even more.

“Our daughter is already making sure we don’t leave lights on when we don’t need to and we’ve reduced how much we use the tumble drier and how much water we use in the bath. Our daughter has been inspired by it and I think it’s nice for the children.”

Are you part of an Olympics-related project? Call reporter Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or email kate.scotter@archant.co.uk

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