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Energy Efficiency Earns an A+

Energy Efficiency Earns an A+

EmPowered Schools: Students Learn, Teach and Save Money for Their School

 

Students at Alder Avenue Middle School (AAMS) in Egg Harbor Township, NJ, have turned a former school problem into an opportunity to learn. A few years ago, the school district looked for ways to save money by cutting energy use, and the school’s environmental club went into action: they took it upon themselves to promote energy efficiency practices and to encourage fellow students and school staff to practice ways to reduce their carbon footprint.

Today, a group of 20 club members and sixth-grade science students are active in the EmPowered Schools program to learn and teach others about the importance of energy efficiency. Developed by the Alliance to Save Energy, EmPowered Schools uses a STEM curriculum and activities to teach students about the importance of energy efficiency and gives them tools to save energy and money, at home and in school.

“Our goal was to teach students about the impact that producing energy has on the environment,” says John Jones, a sixth-grade science teacher. “The EmPowered Schools program has given us the tools to help the kids organize their efforts.”

This is the third year the middle school has participated in the program, and the collaboration with school employees has grown. “We have reached most of the benchmarks, such as getting the word out to staff through announcements and posters,” says Mr. Jones. “We’ve also partnered with the custodians and done school energy audits.”

The environment has always been part of the school culture at AAMS, according to Mr. Jones. “We are a National Green Ribbon school and an Eco-Schools Green Flag winner,” he says. “The EmPowered Schools program has allowed us to maintain that mindset, especially as we come back to school after being out from COVID.”

Both the school and student families have benefitted from student participation in the program. School administrators are pleased the activities help the school save money, and the program earns positive feedback from families about the changes the students are making at home.

“However, the most important outcome is the impact the program has on the kids,” says Mr. Jones. “They become advocates to limit climate change now that they understand the importance of energy reduction.”

South Jersey Gas is pleased to support this hands-on learning program for the fourth consecutive year. EmPowered Schools hosts PK-12th grade schools from across the state. Learn more about the EmPowered Schools program from the Alliance to Save Energy.

Save energy and money -- check out SJG Energy Efficiency programs available exclusively for SJG customers.

 

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