WASILLA — Over 1,200 K-12 students from 22 schools in eight regions across the state participated in the Renewable Energy Alaska Project’s ninth annual Power Pledge Challenge, an initiative focused on educating youth about energy use.
Participating classes completed monthly and year-long challenges related to energy efficiency and conservation such as pledging to reduce their energy use, completing a community energy profile, and creating an energy public service announcement from September 2021 to March 2022.
Classes received monthly and year end prizes through funding from 13 sponsors. They also received in-person and virtual outreach from REAP STEM educators and/or utility partners, as well as electricity monitors upon request with the intent of building students’ energy literacy to benefit their respective communities as a whole.
Girdwood K-8 School teacher Leola Rutherford’s 6th grade class was named the 2022 statewide winner.
“The Power Pledge Challenge has been a mainstay in our year-long 6th Grade Science Curriculum making learning hands-on and locally relevant. The variety, depth, and complexity of activities have engaged all learners in vital conversations about the future of our planet and empowered youth to become changemakers,” Rutherford stated in the press release.
This year’s winning classes included two schools from the Mat-Su Borough School District.
2022 winners include: Statewide: Leola Rutherford, Girdwood K-8 School; Anchorage: Ian Dickson, Northern Lights ABC School; Mat-Su/Eagle River: Lisa Curtis, Talkeetna Elementary; Kenai: Bryan Hickey, Ninilchik School; Southeast: Amber Brewer, Auke Elementary (Juneau); Bering Strait: Kara Sponslor, Koyuk School; Interior: Jen Graham, Tri Valley School; Lower Kuskokwim: Caitlin Tully, Nelson Island School; Cordova: Lance Westing, Cordova Jr/Sr High School.
The Power Pledge Challenge started in 2013, offering energy presentations to students in the Anchorage area. The initiative eventually expanded to a statewide level through support of Alaska Electric Light & Power, Alaska Energy Authority, Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, Alaska Power & Telephone, Alaska Village Electric Cooperative, Chugach Electric Association, City of Seward, Cordova Electric Association, Golden Valley Electric Association, Homer Electric Association, Kawerak Inc, Nome Joint Utility Systems, Matanuska Electric Association, and Renewable Energy Alaska Project.
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