Lights Out! Renew Our Schools Takes Energy Education and Conservation Action Competition Nationwide
Since 2011, Renew Our Schools’ energy conservation programs have gotten Colorado schools all charged up. Now, Resource Central’s youth engagement initiative is spreading that passion to put conservation into action among middle schools across the country. The energy competition will target 30 underserved public middle schools, potentially reaching 18,000 students through the All Points North Foundation grant.
Schools typically reduce electricity usage by a full 10 to 20% during the competition period by utilizing real-time electricity monitors called eGauges to guide their efforts. Winning schools will receive energy efficiency prizes that will help them realize even greater energy savings and use that money saved to cover other school needs.
Through energy measurement tools such as light meters and thermometers that capture their school’s energy use, students can immediately see how their simple actions impact savings. These students reduce their electricity usage by behavioral means only: turning off lights, removing unnecessary appliances, setting computers to power save mode, adjusting building programming, to name a few.
Working with community mentors and energy experts who expose students to various sustainability careers, schools can earn points by completing energy-themed actions such as lesson plans, conducting a full-school audit, or touring local energy facilities. Teachers are trained and provided resources and tools needed to be confident and successful in their school’s implementation and student engagement.
The program has been so successful in Colorado that many school districts have been inspired to create their own sustainability programs once the competition ends. Now, the new nationwide expansion program will help not only continue the Colorado tradition of transforming the way energy education is taught but foster a new generation of energy leaders across the U.S..
For more information: resourcecentral.org
Photo credit: Resource Central
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All Points North Foundation
All Points North Foundation provides grants for projects and initiatives that support our priorities: improving public middle school education and teacher training, and implementing effective solar programs and/or projects in the United States.
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