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Registration for a nationwide student contest to help families save money by saving energy at home - while inspiring students to pursue studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics - began Aug. 16 and runs through Oct. 7. Run by the National Science Teachers Association for the Department of Energy, the goal of America’s Home Energy Education Challenge is to encourage elementary and middle school students, teachers and families to learn more about energy use and efficiency and become more aware of how homes, schools and utilities are interconnected within the community.
Students, teachers and principals are encouraged to register to participate at HomeEnergyChallenge.org. Participation in AHEEC will be broken into two parts: the Home Energy Challenge and the Energy Fitness Award. Each is designed to encourage students to learn about science and home energy savings, and participants can chose one or get involved with both.
The Home Energy Challenge involves students and their teachers in the third through eighth grades in an energy-use comparison activity in which data from the three-month competition period is compared to the previous year’s energy use for the same three months. The goal is to teach students ways to reduce home energy use and measure their energy savings.
Schools and classes will compete within 11 regions for more than $200,000 in prizes that will be distributed at the regional and national levels of the competition. The first place regional award winners will qualify for the national competition, in which a panel of educators, scientists and energy experts will evaluate them for national awards.
The Energy Fitness Award is an individual challenge that will begin Sept. 20. Modeled after the President’s Physical Fitness Test, this segment encourages students to complete specific tasks, such as interpreting a home energy bill and learning how to conduct a home energy assessment, and then demonstrate their learning and proficiency.
For further information on the contest, visit HomeEnergyChallenge.org. To learn more about the steps you can take to make a difference in your home energy consumption, visit the Department of Energy’s Energy Savers site www.energysavers.gov.