November 27, 2018 – More than 3,000 students from 128 sixth through eighth grade classrooms around the state participated in the 2018 Power Pledge Challenge, an initiative aimed at helping youth better understand energy use. This year’s campaign covered the largest geographic area of the initiative to date with students competing for regional and statewide prizes. A seventh grade science class from Hanshew Middle School in Anchorage is this year’s statewide winner.
Utilities and organizations from the Matanuska Susitna valley, Anchorage, the Kenai Peninsula, Juneau, and statewide hosted the challenge as part of Energy Awareness Month, recognized every year in October. In the Challenge, students completed a hands-on activity from the AK EnergySmart curriculum, learned how to calculate the cost of appliance use and discovered ways to reduce their energy usage at home. Students then conducted an online home energy audit with their families and identified specific actions they would take to use energy more efficiently.
Susan Tifental’s 3rd period science class at Hanshew Middle School is the 2018 statewide winner. The class will be awarded a pizza party, energy related classroom materials worth $1,700 and a tour of the South- Central Power Project . Five regional winners each earned a pizza party and/or a tour of a local power plant.
“The energy awareness lesson brought to the schools by the Power Pledge Challenge partners is an excellent introduction to the 7th grade energy unit,” says Tifental, “Students are interested and engaged in the activities due to their relevant, local content. They especially liked learning about the energy consumption of the light bulbs in the Arctic Star. My students are very pleased to have won the Power Pledge Challenge and are looking forward to visiting the power plant.”
The winning classes are:
● Statewide Winner: Susan Tifental’s 3rd period class from Hanshew Middle School (Anchorage)
● Anchorage Regional Winner: Carole McKee’s 2nd period class from Mears Middle School
● Juneau Regional Winner: James White’s 4th period class from Dzantik’i Heeni Middle School
● Homer Electric Regional Winner: Patrick Dwyer’s 6th period class from Skyview Middle School
● Mat-Su and Eagle River Regional Winner: David Knopp’s 6th period class from Teeland Middle School
● City of Seward Regional Winner: Clay Ellsworth’s 6th period class from Seward Middle School
The Power Pledge Challenge began in 2012, offering energy presentations to 700 students in the Anchorage area. The now statewide initiative is held through support of Alaska Electric Light & Power, Alaska Energy Authority, Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, Alaska Village Electric Cooperative, Chugach Electric Association, City of Seward, Homer Electric Association, Matanuska Electric Association, Municipal Light & Power and Renewable Energy Alaska Project.