Looking for more great stuff for kids? Visit Energy Kids by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Contact: Debbie Fitton
Tel: (508) 375-6703
Contact: Todd Rogers
Tel: (315) 655-3507
NEED programs are strong in Massachusetts thanks to the support of the Cape Light Compact, NSTAR and Dominion.
The Compact loans NEED kits and curriculum to classrooms, provides teacher training, and hosts many community
education events throughout the year. The Solarize Our Schools program provided a school in each town with a solar
installation and the associated curriculum materials and data system to learn more about the electricity generated with
solar power. NSTAR provides teacher training and curriculum related to energy efficiency and renewable energy to
schools in the NSTAR service area. In 2011, the new NEED Science of Energy Efficiency module launched with NSTAR
teachers to assist students in understanding the science of insulation, building envelope, and smart design for
buildings. Also in 2011, Dominion’s support of energy education workshops nationwide brings additional teacher
training to communities near Dominion generating plants.
Teachers can access NEED curriculum online. As resources are available, teacher workshops
and hands-on kits are available. Individual state curriculum correlations are available here.
National Primary Rookie of the Year
C. T. Douglas Elementary School
Massachusetts Primary School of the Year
Project Title: Douglas Energy Detectives
We decided that we wanted to help people understand that we really need to save energy in our schools and homes. Many people still don’t know about the planet getting warmer – but even though there’s still debate about that, we still need to save energy. It basically saves our breath – the amount of energy we use affects the amount of air. If you’re using too much energy, you’re hurting yourself. We made a goal to educate teachers and staff at our school about energy conservation.
We learned about LED light bulbs and we learned that they last a long time and they use less energy. We made posters, a video, and talked to classrooms about POWERING DOWN to conserve energy and save money. We wrote to our principal asking permission to reach out to our families and teach tips for saving energy at home. We then submitted a picture and an energy saving tip to our school newsletter, the Douglas Digest.
We will continue our work as Douglas School Energy Detectives to teach teachers, staff and parents to be aware of energy uses and ways to conserve. We would like to make a website as a way to reach more people. We would also like to spend some time writing a play about energy saving tips for a Readers Theater production. We hope to continue to bring awareness to teachers, students, and parents about the benefits of saving energy and our world.
Eastham Elementary School
Massachusetts Elementary School of the Year
Project Title: Eastham's Energy
Project Advisor: Maggie Brown
We started out energy club this year with kids from last year’s energy group. There are 18 of us.
We wanted to continue teaching people about energy. So, all of us went to NEED.org and studied up on the types of energy, renewable and non-renewable energy and how energy is transferred. Then we got a call from Deb Fitton, at Cape Light Compact, and she wanted us to set up our stations at Martha’s Vineyard Living Local Festival. It was a blast! Then a couple of us stayed after school and taught 1st to 3rd graders about solar energy. We made solar cars and houses. Just recently we spent 2 days at Wixon Intermediate School putting on an energy fair for all 480 4th and 5th graders and their teachers. It was exhausting but we got great feedback. They even want us to come back next year and teach them about energy so they can give their own energy fair. We are ready to go!
Luther Conant Elementary School
Massachusetts Elementary Rookie of the Year
Project Title: Reducing Energy Use At School
Project Advisor: Betty Ann Vitale
Have you ever used a Kill-a-Watt Meter to measure how many kilowatts of energy a machine uses when turned off, on, or in use? That’s exactly what the Winter Green Team at Luther Conant School has been doing over the past few weeks. We made shocking discoveries and learned so much about how to make our school more energy efficient. We were able to make recommendations and suggestions about turning off certain machines in the evenings or when they are not in use. We also tried to decrease our school’s carbon footprint by reducing the amount of electricity being used by our school’s lights. For our “turn off the lights” campaign, we made colorful light switch plate covers that go around the light plates and kindly remind faculty and students to turn off the lights when they leave a room. We took initiative to politely ask our teachers if we can turn off the lights if nobody is going to be in the classroom for a while. The bright colors and designs on the light plate covers draw the attention of the younger students as well as the teachers’ eyes.
The work we do on the Green Team is a benefit to our entire school. At the start of every Green Team meeting the student members collect all of the recycling throughout the school and bring it to the recycling collection bins. We even made a video to show at All School Meeting and to post on the school website to share with families. In the video it shows how people can help the school reduce energy consumption and how recycling benefits the Earth – the link to watch it is here: http://youtu.be/jVXbIDnWDDE
We really hope to make a difference at our school and for our whole planet.
National Junior Rookie of the Year
Paul P. Gates Elementary School
Massachusetts Junior Rookie of the Year
Project Title: Gates Green Team - Energy Week!
Project Advisor: Rebecca Acheson
As members of the Paul P. Gates Elementary School Green Team, we believe that saving energy can change the world. Even students like us can help make a great impact on the world’s environmental issues. In meetings on Monday mornings, we discuss the ways that as a school we can save energy. A main focus for us is saving energy by turning off lights and other appliances when they are not in use. In addition to reminding students and teachers at school to turn off our lights and save energy, we would like parents and students to do the same at home. Saving energy is helping the school district save money, so you could do this at home too. Please remember to support our Green Team in our mission to save energy! By doing this, we can prevent negative results of climate change in order to preserve the world.
Harwich Middle School
National Junior Finalist
Massachusetts Junior School of the Year
Project Title: Learning About Energy and Taking Action for Our Environment
Project Advisor: Melinda Forist
Dedicated students of Harwich Middle School have spent this year educating their peers and the general public about energy concerns. Forty members of Harwich Cares meet weekly to discuss how to raise awareness and teach valuable lessons about energy, including ways to reduce energy consumption.
We began our school year with a Community Clean Up. Harwich Cares then invited The Alliance for Climate Education to present an inspirational presentation about influencing climate change. We held a fundraiser to sell energy efficient CFL bulbs and even gave 200 away. The nearly $3,000 raised funded visits to Massachusetts Maritime Academy to learn about how renewable energy is being used, and to Covanta SEMASS to learn how household trash becomes energy. We also created educational displays for Cambridge Science Festival’s Science on the Street. Our recycling efforts in our school have greatly reduced our trash output. Members met with our school’s kitchen staff to discuss Styrofoam alternatives. Most recently, Harwich Cares presented two day-long Energy Carnivals for the students in Harwich and Chatham Elementary Schools. We proudly educate ourselves and others about energy in new and interesting ways, so people will want to reduce their energy consumption and create a healthier world!
Acton-Boxborough Regional High School
Massachusetts Senior School of the Year
Project Title: Power Down Project
Project Advisor: Kate Crosby
Since the Resource Force began in the fall of 2010, it has grown tremendously. For the past two years, we have focused our work on energy conservation. Through a multitude of projects, we have raised awareness about and fostered change regarding energy consumption and other sustainability issues among school staff, faculty, fellow students, and our town and regional community, planting the seeds for a more environmentally aware society.
The work we have done encompasses three main areas: electricity conservation, recycling, and community awareness. Electricity conservation projects (called Power Down) include the faculty Picnic Project, reminding everyone to power down before weekends and vacations, and our Light Saver project. We have expanded our work with recycling and composting by helping to establish a trash sorting station in a local elementary school’s cafeteria, which was modeled off our own trash sorting station at ABRHS. Community awareness projects include a “Power Down” video we submitted to the NSTAR Challenge program, as well as outreach events such as exhibiting at a bi-annual STEM fair, Science Family Night, and the Youth Climate Action Network conference. For more information about our energy conservation work, we invite you to visit our school district website at http://ab.mec.edu/departments/facilities/energy-efficiency.shtml.
We were incredibly proud when our high school recently received an EPA ENERGY STAR, and also when our district was recently recognized by the US Department of Education with a “first-ever” District Sustainability Award through their Green Ribbon Schools program (one of just 14 districts to be recognized in the United States). We appreciate NSTAR and the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources for supporting energy conservation and efficiency at our school!
Martha's Vineyard Regional High School
Oak Bluffs, MA
Massachusetts Senior Rookie of the Year
Project Title: Students Understand The Importance of Energy in Engineering
Project Advisor: Natalie Munn
Ten Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School students commuted over to the Tisbury Elementary School to help teach third graders about engineering. These students took time out of their busy schedules to pre-plan each activity every week. The first device that the third graders had to make were door alarms. These alarms taught the kids how energy is transferred through a circuit. The kids modified this by adding another battery because they realized if there’s more volts present, then the alarm would be louder. The second activity was an indoor sling shot. This activity dealt with the importance of potential energy. The kids modified the slingshot by allowing more potential energy to be stored therefore allowing the ball to fly across the room much farther. Another week we had them build self-drawing marker bots. These bots relied on batteries wired to small motors, and the kids gained more experience with how electricity is transferred. The kids also built balloon cars. These balloon cars focused mainly on potential energy, when the balloon was being blown up it was storing potential energy and when the air was released, it changed into kinetic energy. The last activity the high school students taught to the third graders was creating a light source. The kids used LED lights and learned the importance of positives and negatives in the transfer of electrons/electricity through a circuit. Overall the kids had a lot of fun engineering and modifying each challenge and project. The kids also learned a lot more about energy and how circuitry, potential, and kinetic energy all work in the design process.