The Renew Our Schools challenge is a six-week endeavor that motivates schools to monitor and reduce their energy use. While the goal is to reduce energy by at least six percent by the end of that period, students can participate in a mini challenge dedicating one entire school day toward saving energy by three percent.
Participating schools choose an average school day not impacted by the weather or major events such as sporting events or teacher in-service. Students communicate with everyone in the building, so each person has an opportunity to help reduce energy on that particular day. Schools that successfully achieve three percent savings will receive $100 to spend as they wish! Lourdes Academy and Northland Lutheran High School are two candidates that were up for that challenge.
Lourdes Academy has 50 third graders participating in Renew Our Schools. To help spread the word, they utilized a green screen and developed a weekly broadcast news show on tips to save energy. The school also sent a mass email to all the faculty and staff, notifying them of the exact day the mini challenge would occur.
“Our elementary grade students were excited to spend an entire school day in the dark,” said Becky Piechowski, Third Grade Teacher at Lourdes Academy. “They were engaged with turning off lights in the classrooms and hallways and unplugging devices that were not being used.”
This year’s 22 sophomores are participating in Renew Our Schools as part of their science course. Northland Lutheran High School students have been committed to completing each activity within the challenge, including trying to conserve three percent of electricity in one day.
“Word spreads fast at our school due to the smaller student body,” remarked Rick Grundman, Engineering and STEM Instructor at Northland Lutheran High School. “Our students did a great job introducing the mini challenge to the entire school. It was mentioned during the midday announcements, and students presented on it at the morning teacher-faculty meetings, even designing decorative posters on display in the hallways.”
Discover other ways schools earned points in Renew Our Schools by following along on the FOCUS ON ENERGY® and KEEP Facebook pages:
If your school is interested in participating in a future challenge, visit the Renew Our Schools page and fill out an interest form. Applications are being accepted for the Fall competition scheduled for October 12 to November 10, 2023.