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Welcome back for the 2011–2012 school year!

By Francis Eberle

Posted on 2011-09-06

NSTA Executive Director Francis Eberle

NSTA Executive Director Francis Eberle

I know this is a really busy time for teachers, but before we slide further into the fall, I wanted to focus on an exciting new competition we announced earlier this summer.
NSTA has partnered with the Department of Energy and is challenging students in grades 3–8, together with their teachers and parents, to compete in a friendly nationwide competition will help them learn about energy efficiencies, reduce home energy use–and save money.
There are two ways to participate in America’s Home Energy Education Challenge (AHEEC).  Students and teachers who register (by October 7) for the Home Energy Challenge will collect three consecutive months of individual home energy use during the challenge period of September to December 2011, and compare it to the baseline data for the same three-month period of 2010.  Teachers will work with students to collect and analyze the data, and use the resources available on the AHEEC website to learn about energy conservation and reducing energy use.
Students will be asked to create an energy use savings plan for their own homes. Participants must collect actual (not estimated) energy use data from their utility records for the periods listed above.
Competing schools and classes in the Home Energy Challenge 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. Winning projects will be judged on student participation rates, energy savings, and the overall creativity and quality of the participating local competition.
Students who are unable to monitor their individual home energy can compete for $48,000 in cash prizes in the Energy Conservation Plan and Poster Contest.
The online Energy Fitness Award, the second segment of the Challenge, is a separate educational gaming activity where students can participate at any time and can return to play multiple times. Each student who successfully completes the Energy Fitness Award quiz will receive an Energy Fitness Badge.  Schools and/or classrooms with exemplary participation in this activity will earn additional prizes.
In addition to learning about energy and saving money, the best part of this competition could possibly be the ton of resources available at the AHEEC site and other energy sites.  Many teachers are telling us they are now incorporating AHEEC into their energy curriculum!
We are excited about this competition and I invite you to learn more about AHEEC at or at the Energy Savers website, or visit the Energy Savers Blog.

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