DOE Partners in New Education Initiative to Promote Energy Efficiency

June 1, 2011

Photo of a group of schoolchildren at a table, looking at books and writing, as a teacher points to something in another book.

Students like these who are researching energy in Washington, D.C. will take part in a new national energy efficiency learning challenge this fall.
Credit: Warren Gretz, NREL

DOE and the U.S. Department of Education joined with the National Science Teachers Association on May 24 to launch America's Home Energy Education Challenge, a new energy education initiative. The goal is to motivate students across the country to learn about energy efficiency and to help their families save money.

Part of the overall challenge will be the Home Energy Challenge, a competition this fall allowing school teams to use energy efficiency activities that reduce energy use in their homes. Teams will be asked to measure their energy consumption during a three-month period and compare it to data from the same period the year before. The exercise will allow students to track whether they reduced their energy use. Participating schools can compete for more than $200,000 in prizes.

The second part of the overall challenge will be the Energy Fitness Award. Modeled after the President's Physical Fitness award, the fitness award will encourage students to better understand basic energy issues, including the connection between energy use and energy bills. Winners will be named on a school-by-school basis, with a math or science teacher directing each contest. See the DOE press release and the America's Home Energy Education Challenge.