The day’s theme was about turning into an environmental hero and involved getting the message across to 9-11-year-olds through various fun and educational workshops. Pierre Danckaert, head of learning, explains how N’JOY goes about focusing the attention of 400 children on topics related to energy. Behind the initiative was the Greater Municipality of Cœur Côte Fleurie (Deauville) under its regional climate, clean air & energy plan (PCAET).
What did N’JOY come up with for this big event?
We took a leaf out of Timeline, a card game, to create our own version called Energ’up. The aim of the game is to set up a timeline by arranging cards depicting the first discovery or use of energy sources in chronological order: fire, microwaves, wind and so on.
Finding the right sequence leads to discussion among the children who use facts and logic to lay out the cards in the correct order. It’s a pretty tough challenge, and once they’ve put together their energy timelines, they can turn the cards over to see the corresponding dates on the back. That way they can correct themselves.
Next, the children are told to guess which of the energy sources on the cards are renewable. Some answers aren’t so obvious. Everybody knows oil isn’t a renewable source of energy, but what about natural gas?
In the last session, the children are shown a bunch of everyday objects like pencils, combs and plastic boxes. They have to put their heads together to come up with ways to generate energy using these objects. For example, a comb can be used to generate static electricity, which is also a form of energy.
How does N’JOY think up customized events like this?
First we need to have as much information as possible about the event, like how many children are attending, how old they are, where it’s happening, how much time we have, props and settings (if any), theme (if applicable), and so on. Based on all that, we start putting the event together.
What skills do you need?
In the case of Energ’up we first had to delve into the topic of renewable energy sources. Once the research is done we have to sort the information. What’s important? What do the children have to learn? Using these questions we gradually build an outline of the event and set its learning outcomes while keeping it fun and enjoyable.
What value does N’JOY add to a topic like this?
Definitely our creativity. It’s how we’re able to design a tailor-made workshop that’s both fun and educational. We begin with a script. Next we play the game out in our heads, we prepare and check the educational content, we imagine and design how the game will look (cards in the case of Energ’up), and we test it to make sure the children will like and understand it.
Surely energy is too serious to play with?
That’s precisely the point and the measure of our success. Making learning fun is the best way to get a message across. Play is a great vehicle for socializing, understanding, coordinating, trial and error, and achieving. Children learn best when they’re doing something, when they have a clear goal or purpose. Words without action just go in one ear and out the other.
” Children learn best when they’re doing something, when they have a clear goal or purpose. “
Keeping 400 children interested at once is quite a task. How does N’JOY pull it off?
Without breaking a sweat! Our entertainers are used to and trained to handle audiences of 100, 150 or sometimes more.
Learn more about N’Joy : https://www.njoy.fr/