What do your kids really know about saving energy? Here’s your chance to find out. Team ENERGY STAR, the Environmental Protection Agency’s program to teach kids about energy efficiency, is holding an essay contest for kids. The purpose of the contest is two-fold. First and foremost, Team ENERGY STAR wants to recognize kids for the wonderful steps they’re taking to use energy more efficiently, and they’ve got all kinds of great prizes to award to show their appreciation. But here’s another important reason: They want to inspire other kids to use energy more efficiently, too.
The Essay Contest: It couldn’t be simpler. Kids who submit an essay to the Share Your Story page and then click on the DoSomething Team ENERGY STAR Challenge immediately become eligible for a number of prizes, including:
- The new Lorax DVD, which will go to the first 100 kids to submit essays
- 25 winners will receive ENERGY STAR certified electronics products donated by LG Electronics, including televisions, computer monitors, smart phones, and mouse scanners
- Top winners will also be featured in Times Square on the LG billboard.
- Plus, some of the winners may have a chance to participate in ENERGY STAR day in October with EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson.
Essays will be judged based on the following:
- Creativity/Ingenuity: How did you use Team ENERGY STAR resources to develop a home energy-saving idea that both worked for your family and saved energy? Make sure you explain the energy-saving approach and its relationship to ENERGY STAR as well as how it fits with your family. For example, where your home energy-saving opportunities are and how your family functions day to day.
- Energy Savings: How effective was your idea in engaging the family to save energy? How much energy was saved? Explain how you and your family implemented your idea. For example, what worked, what didn't, and why you think it was successful. What did you learn from the process and how do you plan to use your ideas and lessons learned to keep saving energy?
The “essay” can be a written story; a photo essay; a video; a slide show; a drawing; or any other way kids want to show what they have learned about energy efficiency, just so long as it can be uploaded to the ENERGY STAR story page here. Kids can submit stories any time between now and September 17. Prizewinners will be announced by October 10.
By the way, if you're a blogger and you repost your child’s essay to your blog by September 9, I will include your blog in an online carnival (like this one many parents participated in for the launch of Team ENERGY STAR earlier this summer) that is planned for September 10. Essays and blog posts will be heavily promoted through EPA’s social media networks. Kids who write essays will also receive a certificate of appreciation from EPA Administrator Jackson.
I don’t think this will take a lot of time, and it could be a fun way for parents to see what their kids are actually learning about energy. Plus, maybe the essay can do double-duty for kids needing to write a school essay over the summer.
I hope you’ll encourage your kids to write up an essay for the contest. (The identities of all those who submit essays will be protected. No last names or home addresses will be required for submissions. Only first names and last name initials will be used in the contest.) It’s a great opportunity to showcase their involvement, get other parents and kids involved, and be part of something that will have a big impact on our health and the health of our world.