Students pledge to save energy in their homes
Chugach Electric Association and Renewable Energy Alaska Project have announced the winners in the 2014 Power Pledge Challenge. The challenge was a competition with the goal of helping students learn where their energy comes from, and how families can use energy wisely.
In all, 1,200 seventh-graders in four Anchorage middle schools participated as 46 teams in the two-week Power Pledge Challenge. A classroom of students was considered a team for the contest.
Participating classes received a presentation from Chugach and REAP representatives on energy, where it comes from, and why energy efficiency is important. They also completed a hands-on activity from the AK EnergySmart curriculum - a resource developed in Alaska to teach kids about energy.
Students conducted simple home energy audits with their families and chose actions to take from a list of energy efficiency measures. Approximate savings for each action are located on the Chugach website, which let students find out just how much their pledged actions could save their family.
After studying options and the savings they would provide, students earned points for their team by pledging to take energy efficiency measures in their own homes. In all, the 46 teams pledged to take actions that would save $110,000 a year on home energy bills.
The classroom teams whose pledges produced the most potential savings were taught by the following teachers:
- 1st Place: Ben Walker, Romig Middle School
- 2nd Place: Carolyn Rudzinski, Romig Middle School
- 3rd Place: Katherine Schroeder, Mears Middle School
“Students really enjoyed the hands-on activities with the meters and calculating the cost of energy use,” said Ben Walker, teacher for the first place team. “The Power Pledge Challenge is valuable because even though seventh-grade students are not in control of many of their own energy decisions, they can influence the adults in their life to make changes. Simple energy-conscious decisions such as using cold water for laundry and doing home improvements like sealing windows and buying efficient bulbs can produce savings that add up over time.”
The top three teams win LED bulbs and the first place team is awarded a pizza party. The first, second and third place classroom teachers earned educational energy efficiency materials valued up to $1,000, $750 and $500, respectively, for their schools.
Chugach is the largest electric utility in Alaska, providing power for Alaskans throughout the Railbelt through retail, wholesale and economy energy sales.