WASHINGTON — The U.S. Energy Department and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) today announced that registration is now open for America’s Home Energy Education Challenge (AHEEC), a national student competition created to help families save money by saving energy. Students, educators, and school principals are encouraged to register to participate at HomeEnergyChallenge.org.
Administered by NSTA for the Energy Department, America’s Home Energy Education Challenge inspires student interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), while encouraging elementary and middle school students to make smarter energy choices and save energy at home.
“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.”
“Teachers are always in search of new ideas and creative ways to motivate their students in science,” said Dr. David Evans, Executive Director, NSTA. “America’s Home Energy Education Challenge is a valuable teaching tool for educators, encouraging active learning about conservation and science, while helping to cultivate student interest in the STEM subjects.”
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. All students from third to eighth grade are eligible to enter for both parts of the challenge, including students in after school and home school programs.
Home Energy Challenge
Through the Home Energy Challenge participants will leverage the power of school spirit to engage rival schools in a local home energy savings competition. Participating student teams will monitor and measure their energy consumption over a three-month period between September 2013 and February 2014, and compare it to data from the same period the year before.
Schools of all sizes are eligible to compete and schools without other nearby schools to compete against may hold a competition among classes within their school. After-school programs and students who are homeschooled are also encouraged to participate in this competition. Registration for the Home Energy Challenge begins today and runs through November 15, 2013. The Challenge officially kicks off for school participation on September 1, 2013, and schools can begin their three month competition period any time between then and November 15.
Competing schools and classes will compete within 11 regions for more than $60,000 in prizes that will be distributed at the regional and national levels of the competition. Winning teams will be determined by the decrease in students’ year-over-year home energy use, percentage of class or school participation, and the overall creativity and quality of their local competition. The first place regional award winners will qualify for the national competition and will be judged by a panel of educators, scientists, and energy experts.
Energy Fitness Award
As part of AHEEC, the Energy Fitness Award is an individual challenge that will begin September 1, 2013 and continue through the school year. Modeled after the President’s Physical Fitness Test, the Energy Fitness Award challenges students to better understand foundational energy issues and provides students with an opportunity to learn where their energy comes from and how to use it efficiently.
Through this challenge, students must 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. Badges of achievement will be awarded at three levels: Joule, Kilojoule, and Megajoule. The Energy Fitness Award is open to any student, including homeschoolers or members of after school science programs and energy clubs.
To register to join America's Home Energy Education Challenge or to find more information, please visit HomeEnergyChallenge.org.