By Fernando Gil
In spring 2021, SEI hosted a virtual Energy Challenge, giving students a fun opportunity to learn about energy conservation, help spread awareness about energy use and climate change, and win scholarships to support their future college and career goals. In partnership with Whitehorse School in the Navajo Nation, Swinerton Renewable Energy, and Heart of America, SEI made this programming available to students fully offline, as 80% of students there do not have access to the Internet at home. This meant creating alternatives for all the online aspects of the original challenge, including educational resources and ways for students to share their work. The transition was a success as Whitehorse seniors were able to engage with content and launch creative energy conservation campaigns including presentations, poems, and infographics.
Energy Conservation Poem by Xavier Martin
Energy Campaign Reflection by Diana Whitehair
As a result of their conservation efforts through social media, one student received attention from a local energy conservation page, who even followed their instagram account! Challenge judges; Derrick Terry (Renewable Energy Specialist), Rebecca Benally (Health Promotion and Education Director), and Mylo Fowler (Humanitarian and Professional Photographer), all agreed that the students exceeded expectations and felt they learned some things themselves while reviewing student campaigns. We are so impressed with the students who participated and hope that this challenge has sparked further interest in climate protection, energy conservation, and green career opportunities.
First, second, and third place challenge winners pose with their energy specialist certificates! From Left to Right [Kassidy Lee, Xavier Martin, Diana Whitehair]
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