A student showcase about renewable energy is allowing the minds and talents of Grade 9 students to shine on the province’s green energy future. Grade 9 students from across the province are displaying renewable electricity projects today, June 7, to family, educators, and elected officials in Truro. The projects include a solar powered drawbridge, video and power points, and a wind power debate. The student showcase is part of The Energy Around Us, a pilot program developed by the Departments of Education and Energy to encourage learning about renewable energy, its potential uses, and the role it plays in the province’s electricity and environmental sectors. “Government understands decisions made today will impact future generations,” said MLA Lenore Zann, on behalf of Energy Minister Bill Estabrooks and Education Minister Marilyn More. “Educating our young people about the importance of renewable energy in creating good jobs and a greener province is the right decision for today and for the future.” By 2020, Nova Scotia intends to supply 40 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources. Today that number is 12 per cent. The Energy Around Us program encourages students to use science, math, social studies and art to explore the world of renewable electricity through hands-on projects. The program connects to social studies, science and language arts outcomes within the Grade 9 curriculum. Kathryn Creaser, a teacher in New Germany, said the program encouraged students to look at how renewable energy affects their daily lives. “The students really embraced the opportunity to research the topic of renewable energy and how it relates to them and their community. They enjoyed the freedom to explore the subjects that mean the most to them when it comes to renewable energy, and they made a real effort to present their findings in a creative and informative way,” said Ms. Creaser. “It’s wonderful that students will have a chance to share what they’ve learned, see projects from other schools and meet peers from other parts of the province, especially with a shared focus on greener energy and a stronger economy for their future.” Schools participating in the showcase are: Park West School; Pugwash District High School; Shelburne Regional High School; New Germany Rural High School; Canso Academy; Central Kings Rural High School; Inverness Education Centre/Academy; Advocate District School; Rockingstone Heights School; and Digby Regional High School.
The General Assembly committee on a convention on the rights of persons with disabilities forged accord on draft articles addressing access to justice, privacy, independent living, full inclusion in the community and other individual rights.“This major human rights convention represents a shift in the way governments interact with persons with disabilities,” the Coordinator of the talks, Ambassador Don MacKay of New Zealand, said at a press conference on Friday at the close of the two-week session. “Many have said that the rights of persons with disabilities are already guaranteed in existing human rights treaties, but the reality is that persons with disabilities have been deprived of those rights.”“Many conventions say that such and such people should not be treated differently from others – but people with disabilities are treated differently from others,” Mr. MacKay observed, adding that existing treaties had prescribed equal rights, but had not set out in detail what those rights were.The Convention would say not only that persons with disabilities had the same rights as those without, but would spell out in detail what those rights were, he said. “We’re setting up a new regime, a new way of thinking and a new sort of paradigm.” The Committee Chair, Ambassador Luis Gallegos Chiriboga of Ecuador, told reporters that the negotiations were part of an historic process aimed at integrating 600 million people into society.“The owners of the convention are the people with disabilities; they are the actors who are moving forward the convention,” he said. “They are the ones who tell us what their problems are, and how to address them.” The Committee on a Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities agreed on a text providing that States parties should take all measures to ensure that persons with disabilities can exercise their right to freedom of expression and opinion, including the right to seek, receive and impart information on an equal basis with others. That provision calls on States parties to facilitate the use of sign language, Braille and augmentative alternative communication. The agreed draft text also stipulates that persons with disabilities shall not be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with their privacy and correspondence. There was broad support for committing States parties to take measures to enable persons with disabilities to live independently and as full participants in the community, including the right to choose one’s place of residence and living arrangements.A separate draft article was proposed on protection of the home and family, which would ensure the rights of persons with disabilities to decide freely and responsibly on the number and spacing of their children on an equal basis with other persons.