Winners of $15,000 school energy challenge revealed

Lutron Electronics Co., Inc. announces the winners of its Bright Green Dream School Sustainability Challenge, a contest which invited teachers and students to propose creative solutions for increasing energy efficiency, enhancing the learning environment, and reducing their carbon footprint. Lutron awarded prizes to three recipients in the Challenge.

The winning entries were chosen based on their abilities to create innovative programs that save energy while helping students to learn. In addition, they included ways to share their in-school efforts with their communities, a key component of making sustainable living a way of life. The grand prize winner, Tavan Elementary School in Phoenix, AZ, will receive a Lutron Greenovation energy efficient classroom lighting upgrade and a cash prize to enable the purchase of other materials used to implement their sustainability project. The award is valued at $15,000. The two finalists, Urban Assembly School for the Urban Environment in Brooklyn, NY and Harvest Christian Academy in Wilmington, DE, will be awarded the installation of a Greenovation classroom lighting upgrade valued at approximately $3,500.

Below are the winning entries:

Tavan Elementary School
Scottsdale United School District - Phoenix, AZ

Tavan focused their sustainability plan on reducing lighting energy use, saving water in their community which is particularly susceptible to water shortages, and expanding recycling and conservation programs within the school. In addition to school-based initiatives, Tavan's plan outlined a longitudinal assessment of energy and water use in their school, along with a proposal to schedule weekly video updates on the school's morning news program as part of their curriculum tie-in.

The Urban Assembly School for the Urban Environment
New York City Public Schools - Brooklyn, NY

Urban Assembly focused their strategies on an efficient way to enhance one of their science classrooms. They incorporated a cross-curricular plan, including a paper recycling initiative, installing a new lighting system and 'low tox' linoleum floors, along with brochures to share with other classrooms and the community encouraging them to play a role in this new lifestyle. The outcomes and data from these upgrades would also be integrated into other projects in nearly every subject.

Harvest Christian Academy
Wilmington, DE

Harvest Christian's submission revolved around updating their school's 50-year old lighting system. The students' goal was to make better use of daylight thus conserving energy with the resultant savings being used to purchase technologies that will enhance the learning environment. They closed their proposal with a community outreach project. Their hope is to host tours of their school to allow members of the community to see their updates, promoting the project and spreading the word on sustainability.

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