Aspen Energy Challenge for Kids!
WHAT IS YOUR SCHOOL DOING TO BE SMARTER?
The Aspen School District has just completed a number of energy saving improvements. We know the students work hard enough–the building shouldn’t have to as well!
Energy efficiency improvements include the following measures:
- Lighting upgrades. LEDs (light-emitting diodes) replaced the old, fluorescent bulbs which used to flicker and buzz.
- Enhancement of existing lighting: when natural light is really bright, staff is able to use the dimmer switches to control the light intensity & the LED lights provide a softer, more natural glow.
- Building automation control systems—to make the building work smarter! It is a school, after all!
Upgrades took place in the bus barn, and numerous locations throughout Aspen Elementary School and Aspen High School. Check out this article in the Aspen Daily News about the school’s projects!
The school district aims to teach students to be responsible stewards of the natural environment, and are walking the walk themselves. The energy savings equate to about 500,000 kWh a year, the equivalent to the electricity usage in 59 Colorado homes. These savings average out to about $40,000 a year, enough to cover a new teacher’s starting salary. These savings allow the School District to dedicate more funds to educating you!
Besides environmental and economic benefits, these improvements have decreased maintenance needs, and increased building safety and comfort.
Don’t let the savings stop at school. There is plenty you can do at home:
- Talk to your parents about signing up for a Home Energy Assessment
- Work with your parents to make simple energy upgrades to the home
- Turn off the lights and television when you leave the room.
- Don’t use so much hot water. Heating water requires a lot of energy. Less hot water = less energy.
- Unplug your appliances when not in use.
- Don’t leave the refrigerator door open. Decide what you want before you open the door.
- When the heat is on, make sure all windows and doors are closed. Open windows and doors make your heating system work a lot harder.
What else do you do to save energy? Share it on the Aspen Energy Challenge facebook page.
THE ASPEN ENERGY CHALLENGE “HOME DESIGN COMPETITION”
What would you design if you were building an efficient home? The 4th graders at the Aspen Elementary School showed us what they would do as part of the “Home Design Competition.”
Through ACES curriculum students learn all about energy: how it is produced, how it is used and the many things we can do to save energy in our own homes. The students incorporated these ideas, as well as lessons from the water conservation curriculum, into their home design. The students came up with some creative, revolutionary, and precocious ideas for how Aspen can win the Georgetown University Energy Prize. See if you can spot efficient batteries, motion sensors, wind generators, solar panels powered by the moon and even pink polka dotted panels in the winning designs below.
Class 1 winning design: “Energy Preserver House”. Honorable mention goes to “The Recycler.”
Class 2 winning design: “House of Energy Awesomeness.”
Class 3 winning design: “Reusable House.” Honorable mention goes to “The Energy Extractor.”
Class 4 winning design: “The Renewable House.” Honorable mention goes to “The House of Energy Conservation.”
Class 5 winning design: A tie between “The Power Preserver Dome” and “The R’s House: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Repair.”
Class 6 winning design: “The Solar Greenhouse.”