More than 1,200 Kindergarten through twelfth grade students from 22 schools in eight regions around the state participated in the ninth annual Power Pledge Challenge (PPC), an initiative aimed at helping youth better understand energy use.
Participating classes, including Caitlin Tully’s classroom at Nelson Island School in Toksook Bay, had the opportunity to complete monthly and year-long challenges from September 2021 to March 2022 related to energy efficiency and conservation such as pledging to reduce their energy use, completing a community energy profile, and creating an energy public service announcement. Monthly and year-end prizes were awarded for participating classes which were provided with funding from the 13 partners who sponsored the PPC.
Participating classrooms received in-person or virtual outreach from REAP STEM educators and/or utility partners, as well as electricity monitors upon request. This year-long, project-based PPC increased students’ energy literacy while completing challenges that benefit their families, classrooms, and schools. This year’s statewide winner was Leola Rutherford’s 6th grade students from Girdwood School.
“The Power Pledge Challenge has been a mainstay in our year-long 6th Grade Science Curriculum making learning hands-on and locally relevant. The variety, depth, and complexity of activities have engaged all learners in vital conversations about the future of our planet and empowered youth to become changemakers.” -Leola Rutherford, Teacher, Girdwood K-8 School
This year’s winning classes are:
Statewide: Leola Rutherford, Girdwood K-8 School
Anchorage: Ian Dickson, Northern Lights ABC School
Mat-Su/Eagle River: Lisa Curtis, Talkeetna Elementary
Kenai: Bryan Hickey, Ninilchik School
Southeast: Amber Brewer, Auke Elementary (Juneau)
Bering Strait: Kara Sponslor, Koyuk School
Interior: Jen Graham, Tri Valley School
Lower Kuskokwim: Caitlin Tully, Nelson Island School
Cordova: Lance Westing, Cordova Jr/Sr High School
The Power Pledge Challenge began in 2013, offering energy presentations to students in the Anchorage area. The now statewide initiative is held through support of Alaska Electric Light & Power, Alaska Energy Authority, Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, Alaska Power & Telephone, Alaska Village Electric Cooperative, Chugach Electric Association, City of Seward, Cordova Electric Association, Golden Valley Electric Association, Homer Electric Association, Kawerak Inc, Nome Joint Utility Systems, Matanuska Electric Association, and Renewable Energy Alaska Project.