Energize Connecticut, in partnership with Connecticut Light & Power and United Illuminating, is conducting the ninth annual eesmarts contest for students in all grades.
The eesmarts program is a K-12 energy efficiency and clean, renewable energy education initiative that annually invites Connecticut students to showcase their "energy smarts" about saving energy, efficient and renewable energy technologies, and sustainability through various media forms.
"Energy efficiency is a key component of Connecticut's energy strategy for the future because it helps homeowners and businesses save money while reducing harmful emissions into the air we breathe," said Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Daniel Esty. "It is critical that young people develop an understanding of the importance of energy efficiency so they can take an active role for the rest of their lives in promoting a cleaner energy future -- and the eesmarts statewide initiative helps accomplish that important goal."
Students answer grade-level specific prompts regarding energy efficient and renewable energy technologies and sustainability in the form of a poster, limerick, news article, song lyrics, persuasive essay, public service announcement script, speech and a small business proposal for energy efficiency.
New to the contest this year is the "Power of Change" award category for grades 9 to 11 that asks students to propose a community-based project plan to address an energy-related issue. The eesmarts program partnered with three Connecticut-based foundations -- the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, Hampshire Foundation and the Common Sense Fund -- to identify three winners in this category to receive funding to make their community-based project a reality. The three foundations will together provide grants of $1,000 for first place, $1,000 for second place and $500 for third place. The eesmarts program will match the foundations' awards.
Finalists for each grade level will be honored at a special awards ceremony on June 11 at the State Capitol in Hartford.
For kindergarten to grade 11, first-prize winners will receive an iPad and second-prize winners will receive a Kindle Fire. Third-place winners will receive a $25 Amazon gift card and a season pass for their immediate family to an Energize Connecticut museum partner, which includes the Connecticut Science Center in Hartford, the Discovery Museum in Bridgeport and Stepping Stones Museum for Children in Norwalk. Grade 12 finalists will receive Best Buy gift cards to help support their future educational expenses.
The contest is open to all students in Connecticut and the deadline for entries is April 26.
For information, visit www.eesmarts.com/contest.