What if instead of Mom and Dad nagging the kids to turn the lights off and save energy, it was the kids nagging their parents? That seems to be the aim of a new energy education initiative called America’s Home Energy Education Challenge.
The initiative was recently announced by U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu, joined by U.S. Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Dr. Francis Eberle, Executive Director of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). It seeks to educate the youth of the nation on the benefits of energy efficiency, while motivating them to play an active role in how their families use energy.
The program will encourage students, teachers, and families to learn more about energy consumption and efficiency, and to become more aware of how homes, schools, and utilities are connected within the community. (But if some students wind up inspired to pursue studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, so much the better.)
Part of the initiative is the Home Energy Challenge this fall, in which participating school teams in grades 3-8 will be asked to implement energy efficiency activities that reduce the energy use in their homes. Teams will be asked to monitor and measure their energy consumption over a three-month period and compare it to data from the same period the year before.