The middle school students at Orcas Christian School recently participated in and won the Cool School Challenge. They competed against several area schools to see who could save the most energy.
“Coordinated by the San Juan Islands Conservation District, the Cool School Challenge is a way for students to learn how much energy their classrooms and school are using, and to participate in identifying ways to reduce the amount of energy being used, carbon dioxide being emitted, and money being spent.”
Students went classroom to classroom with energy meters to measure the watts being consumed by the various electrical devices. Lightbulbs were counted and calculated, incandescent swapped out for LED. Computers in use were compared to computers in sleep mode. Light switches were turned off in favor of natural light and thermostats turned down a couple of degrees. Students presented to the elementary classrooms and at an all-student assembly about different energy saving techniques and how to better conserve electricity as a school.
Once the data was collected, the results were clear. OCS was the only school to actually conserve energy during the week of testing. All the other participating schools had actually increased their energy usage. The students were not only the only middle school group to participate in the challenge, but they beat all the other high schools.
OCS as a whole conserved 250 kwh of energy that week, which is enough to power a Tesla for 2000 miles. The average family uses 1000 kwh per month, so OCS conserved the equivalent of an entire week’s worth of energy.
Students were awarded a certificate of excellence and celebrated with a class pizza party. They are continuing to look for ways to conserve energy and practice good stewardship towards the resources around them.