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The Classroom Energy Challenge

In September 2014, the CNY Regional Planning & Development Board (CNY RPDB) and Energy Training Solutions (ETS) implemented a program called the Classroom Energy Challenge at two pilot schools in the Syracuse City School District. The Classroom Energy Challenge was developed to broaden the level of understanding of energy sustainability, to provide value to diverse school audiences, and to promote cost-effective strategies that reduce energy consumption in homes and schools. The program provides a comprehensive collection of instructional tools for teachers and students, including an energy curriculum, teacher guides, student workbooks, Power Point presentations, educational literature, equipment, and promotional material. The program is now active in five Syracuse City Schools, with the goal of expanding to even more schools in the region and state.


The Classroom Energy Challenge consists of two components:


  • The energy challenge curriculum is a concise six-week program for 5th and 6th grade enrichment classes and their families. It integrates science, math, and language arts instruction and provides learning experiences that correspond to state and national learning standards. Homework assignments involve students and their families in order to incorporate energy conservation methods in their everyday lives. Hands-on equipment such as light meters and thermometers provide additional opportunities for students and their families to investigate energy use for heating, cooling, ventilation, and lighting in their homes.


  • KiloWatch involves middle school students, faculty and staff in an energy management approach specifically for school buildings. Students are trained to use specialized equipment that allows them to monitor energy use throughout their schools and they learn about technologies and practices that save energy by conducting experiments and energy audits. Through KiloWatch, the entire school community becomes involved in efforts to reduce energy use within the school facility.


In addition to energy monitoring equipment, three Classroom Energy Challenge publications are available to teachers and students at the pilot school communities:


  • The Classroom Energy Challenge Student Guide (56 pages) contains instruction and homework assignments for the following topics:  energy sources, utility bills, lighting, energy use by electrical devices, heating and cooling, hot water efficiency, and home energy assessments.


  • The Classroom Energy Challenge Teacher Guide (19 pages) contains lesson plans, learning objectives, and classroom procedures for each of the topics presented in the Student Guide.


  • The KiloWatch 3-ring binder (100 pages) includes detailed instructions for investigations to monitor energy use in school buildings.


View our five-minute video or view the Classroom Energy Challenge Brochure to learn more.  


For additional information, contact Amanda Mazzoni at, (315)422-8276 ext 1215.

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