“Green Energy Challenge 2011” is enlisting 300,000 K-12 students to audit their schools to reduce energy wasteFebruary, 2011 — Green Education Foundation’s (GEF) Green Energy Challenge is off and running with nearly 300,000 students participating nationwide. GEF is mobilizing thousands of K-12 schools to participate from across the country in the largest school-based energy efficiency campaign coupling environmental lessons with hands-on audits.
The Green Energy Challenge program, sponsored by National Grid, calls on students to audit their classrooms, schools and homes to find energy leaks and correct them in an effort to reduce utility costs and help the environment. Participating schools will research past bills and implement comprehensive yet simple changes in an effort to reduce associated costs during the school year. Results will be posted on GEF’s website on Earth Day (April 22), 2011.
“National Grid is committed to giving back to the community and preserving the environment. The Green Energy Challenge is an effective way to teach students and families simple techniques that can save money, while also jumpstarting a commitment for environmental learning,” stated Loretta Smith, Director US Corporate Citizenship for National Grid. “This program supports National Grid’s Engineering Our Future initiative, designed to inspire youth to pursue science, technology, engineering and math skills,” she added.
Audit checklists and energy experiments for all grade levels accompany the program. GEF’s comprehensive online curriculum library provides standards-based lessons, activities and projects that are easily incorporated into science, math, language arts, social studies, and creative arts curricula.
GEF will be tracking participating schools green energy efforts and spotlighting their results via GEF’s Green Energy Challenge website: www.greenenergychallenge.us. Following are three elementary schools that will be among those spotlighted: the Charter School for Applied Technologies in Buffalo, NY; Squantum Elementary School in Quincy, MA; and Old Country Road School in Esmond, Rhode Island. “The Green Energy Challenge is an effective way for Squantum Elementary School’s student council to educate the school community on simple measures that can add up to big savings - not only for the environment, but in utility costs,” commented Squantum Elementary School principal Steve Sylvia.
Educators participating in the Green Energy Challenge have access to a multitude of prize giveaways; Old Country Road School in Esmond, Rhode Island, already won an assortment of eco-books and green kits by committing to a six month energy education program. “We are very excited to engage our students in this hands-on sustainability program,” commented Principal Laurie Sullivan, we will also be encouraging our students to take home what they learned in an effort to reduce their family’s energy costs over the winter.”
The Green Energy Challenge is free! Schools and youth groups are urged to register now to receive a Green Energy Challenge eco-kit, visit www.GreenEducationFoundation.org to enroll today.
Sustainability Education (SE)
Sustainability education (SE) is an integrative teaching model that connects student knowledge of environmental, economic, and social systems with real-world applied learning strategies. SE develops the 21st century skills, vision and habits necessary to build a sustainable future. It encompasses environmental education, a longstanding discipline, within the context of broader concepts such as global populations, climate change, and green building.
About GEF’s Global Advisory Committee
GEF’s Global Advisory Committee bolsters collaboration between academic experts across disciplinary and geographic borders, committed to making the study and practice of sustainability a more integral and prominent part of student curriculum and teacher education. The goal is to provide teachers with the knowledge, skills and curricular resources essential to integrate sustainability into existing disciplines.
Committee Members Include:
- Rosalyn McKeown is Secretariat of the UNESCO Chair on Reorienting Teacher Education to Address Sustainability, the United Nations Chair on Education for Sustainable Development, and Director of the Center for Geography and Environmental Education at the University of Tennessee. Dr. McKeown also developed the Education for Sustainable Development online toolkit, Teaching and Learning for a Sustainable Future.
- Gary Yohe is the Huffington Foundation Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies at Wesleyan University, a Senior Member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and thus co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.
- Linda Jones is Associate Professor of the School of Teaching and Learning at the University of Florida, Director of the University of Florida Environmental Education and Communication Graduate Certificate program, and recipient of UFL’s International Center Distinguished International Educator Award.
- Carolee Buckler serves as Sustainable Development Coordinator of Manitoba Education, Canada, and member EcoCanada’s Steering Committee for Environmental Labour Market Information. In 2009, she helped create the Sustainability Leadership Innovation Center at the International Institute for Sustainable Development.
- Gilda Wheeler is Sustainability Coordinator at Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and in 2009 led the charge to develop the state’s first Environmental and Sustainability student learning standards and professional development teaching standards for colleges of education.
About Green Education Foundation (GEF)
Green Education Foundation (GEF), a non-profit organization, is committed to creating a sustainable future through education. GEF provides curriculum and resources to K-12 students and teachers worldwide with the goal of challenging youth to think holistically and critically about global environmental concerns and solutions. Visit www.greeneducationfoundation.org to learn more. GEF’s National Green Week mobilizes millions of students each year to participate in eco-challenges that empower school communities to achieve measurable and sustainable goals in waste reduction and energy conservation. For more information visit: www.GreenEducationFoundation.org.
About National Grid
National Grid is an international energy delivery company. In the U.S., National Grid delivers electricity to approximately 3.3 million customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island, and manages the electricity network on Long Island under an agreement with the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA). It is the largest distributor of natural gas in the northeastern U.S., serving approximately 3.4 million customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island. National Grid also owns over 4,000 megawatts of contracted electricity generation that provides power to over one million LIPA customers.