The Student Patrol Program is the heart of the Watt Watchers of Texas. Your students will join Lil’ Tex and Ann as official Watt Watchers, helping to save Texas by rounding up the Wasters Gang.
Here are some steps you should take in setting up your program:
1. You’ve already taken the first step: access the free content on this website. You can download forms, templates, guides, and other resources to print and use with your students. Other resources, like this page, provide information you can bookmark in your web browser to return to later.
2. Get support from the administration. Set up a meeting with your administrators to discuss the Watt Watchers program and how it is going to benefit your school. All of the benefits are listed here.
3. Present the program to the teachers and staff at your school. The whole school participates in Watt Watchers and it is very important to inform everyone from teachers and administrators to custodians and volunteers. Tickets are reminders to help people establish energy efficient habits. Enthusiastic and supportive staff make it more fun and more effective. Here’s a sample letter you can share that explains how the program makes a difference in your school and your district and lays the foundations for a school-wide conversation about how Texas is too good to waste.
4. Read “Texas is Too Good to Waste.” Simply print out this 8-page comic and follow Lil’ Tex and Ann as they track down the Wasters Gang! See how the Watt Watchers follow the Waster’s trail of wasted energy and water to their secret hideout. Then for grades K–2, complete the activities at the end of the book.
5. Choose the students to be Watt Watchers. This program is successful at any grade level and with diverse student populations including at-risk, learning disabled, special education, and gifted and talented. Being a Watt Watcher could provide recognition to students who rarely receive opportunities for leadership. The younger the students, the more supervision needed. The students must want to participate and be able to carry out the tasks consistently and honorably. Here are some more tips for starting your patrols.
6. Prepare your patrol materials. We’ve made lots of templates for you to use here. Print out name badges for the Watt Watchers to wear on patrol. Print tickets or door hangers for the patrol to leave when the find energy being wasted or saved. Print copies of the Patrol Record and Patrol Record Guide to use during patrols.
7. Develop procedures for your building. Where, when and how often will the Watt Watchers patrol? Consider times when classrooms are normally empty such as lunch, recess, before and after school. Which rooms and areas will be included? Will any areas be off limits? Do you want to include doors, windows, ceiling fans, computers or other wasters? How will the bathrooms, stage areas, teacher’s workroom, offices and closets be handled? Where will the Watt Watcher patrols pick up and store their supplies? What extra supplies will you need? These are all things that you will need to decide before setting up your team of patrols. This page has suggestions on using a map of your school to plan patrol routes.
8. Set up your team. Get excited!! The goals are to help reduce energy waste (save money) and to teach every one in the school to be energy efficient (change behavior). It would be appropriate to discuss energy production, fossil fuels, consumption, pollution, waste, and high cost while introducing the program. Invite them to count the light bulbs in one room and multiply it by the number of rooms in the school, and then add other schools, cities and the whole state! The Watt Watchers of Texas program is based on the idea that each person makes a contribution by helping reduce waste. Energy efficiency benefits people, the school, community, state and planet.
9. Sign Contracts. Being a member of the Watt Watchers of Texas program is a privilege and a responsibility to be taken seriously. You can use this agreement for your students. The contract underscores the importance of being on the team and is a reminder of duties that students must perform.
10. It’s time to go on your first patrol! We suggest making this patrol a secret. The secret patrol will allow you to see how much the program is needed in your school. On this patrol you will be able to show the students how to do the program without passing out the tickets or thank you notes; you will just mark the patrol record. This will give you an idea of which classrooms are going to need the most help in remembering to turn the lights out! The students need to be trained. The advisor or students in charge should remind the patrol on the procedures for picking up supplies, hallway etiquette, and filling out the patrol record form. This page has more information on the secret patrol.
11. Get started and keep going. Intercom announcements, such as “Watt Watchers are Watching!” arouse the interest before patrols begin. Here are some sample announcements to help you get started. An assembly to introduce the other students to the program can be helpful. Inform the media. Support from the principal keeps interest high. Here are some chants and skit ideas you can use to help kick off the year. Occasional announcements of Watt Watchers patrol results; recognition of rooms and grade levels which have good records; bulletin board displays; energy efficiency competitions between areas; special notes or privileges for winners; and pats on the backs for the patrols and staff are little things which make successful programs.
12. Celebrate your success! Award the Zero Hero Award and Most Improved Award to the classes that save the most energy. Don’t forget to recognize your Watt Watchers with their own Certificates of Achievement. Read more about the awards and download them here.
|“Texas is Too Good to Waste”||Follow along with Lil’ Tex and Ann, the Watt Watchers, as they track down the Wasters Gang! See how the Watt Watchers follow the Wasters’ …|
|Secret Patrol||Background Information Survey your school to see if the Watt Watchers program will save your school money. Use the Watt Watchers check sheet to tally the empty classrooms at …|
|Initial Press Release||When you are starting or restarting a Watt Watchers program in your school or district, you may want to communicate your project to stakeholders outside …|
|Letter to Staff||It’s a good idea when starting or re-starting the program at your school to communicate a couple of things to other teachers and staff. The …|
|Celebrate Your Success!||May arrives in schools with a rush of tests and locker clean-outs, but we need to remember to praise those teachers who have faithfully been …|
|Recharge Your Patrol!||Back to School means the meters are running at your school. You can slow them down by turning off lights and other energy wasting items. …|
|Forms and Templates||Download and print as many of these forms as you need to kick-start your program. Keep in mind the environmental implications of printing. All of …|
|Mentor a Feeder School||Watt Watchers of Texas wants your help in getting all the schools in your district watching watts! The best way for everyone to eliminate energy …|
|Sample Announcements||Your Watt Watchers of Texas patrol groups are doing a great service to the school. Promote these facts to your whole school through announcements. Publicly …|
|Kicking Off the Year: Chants & Skits||After your first secret patrol, you need to get the word out that the “Watt Watchers are Coming”, as well as the particulars of your …|
|Map Suggestions||Sometimes new Watt Watchers sponsors are a little intimidated by starting a brand new program that will involve the whole school. A frequent stumbling point …|
|Tips for Starting Your Patrol||Choosing your patrol groups: Allow elections in the classroom to decide who goes on patrol this week. Choose the quiet ones. Have each homeroom elect …|