A new educational program from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) will help elementary and middle school students learn about home energy efficiency.
Students, educators, and school principals are encouraged to register and participate in America’s Home Energy Education Challenge (AHEEC). The program works to inspires an interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) topics, through a friendly competition in home energy savings.
“America’s Home Energy Education Challenge is all about helping families save money by saving energy, while inspiring the next generation of America’s energy leaders,” said Acting Energy Secretary Daniel Poneman. “This competition is giving students across the country the skills and tools they need to reduce energy waste in their homes and to pursue their interests in science and technology.”
Students ranging in age from third grade to eighth grade can participate in the challenge. Competing schools, classes, home-schooled students, and after school programs are divided into 11 regions and have the chance to win more than $60,000 in regional and national prizes.
The challenge is has two parts: the Home Energy Challenge and the Energy Fitness Award.
The Home Energy Challenge creates an energy savings competition between rival schools. Participating teams will begin recording and measuring their home energy consumption September 1, 2013 and continue until February 2014. The monthly energy savings will then be compared to the home energy records from the previous year. Winners will be determined by a team’s year-over-year home energy savings, percentage of team participation, and overall creativity and quality of the local competition.
The Energy Fitness Award is an individual challenge modeled after the President’s Physical Fitness test that asks students to learn about core energy issues, how energy is developed, and how to use energy efficiently. To earn this award, students must complete tasks such as interpreting home energy bills and conducting home energy assessments. As students progress through the challenges, they earn joule, kilojoule and megajoule badges.
To learn more about the program or to register for the challenge, visit the AHEEC website.