For Immediate Release - June 05, 2013

Patrick Administration Honors Schools, Student for National Energy Education Achievements

Massachusetts student named national “Student of the Year"

BOSTON – June 5, 2013 – Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Commissioner Mark Sylvia today recognized seven schools, and one student, for their efforts in energy education. The event at the Massachusetts State House included Massachusetts awardees, finalists and nominees for the 2013 National Youth Awards for Energy Achievement in Washington, D.C.

“Through strong alliances with the Cape Light Compact and Massachusetts utilities, the National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project has brought essential energy and environment-related learning into K-12 classrooms,” said Commissioner Sylvia. “It’s important for young people and adults to understand the role energy plays in our lives and to help the Commonwealth meet our clean energy savings, environmental, and economic goals for this and succeeding generations.”

Schools are selected for Massachusetts awards and nominated for national NEED recognition by DOER, Cape Light Compact and NSTAR (Northeast Utilities), which represent the Massachusetts affiliates of the NEED Project. Finalists are then selected by NEED.

NEED named Brooke Reagan, a senior at Upper Cape Regional High School in Sandwich, the National Student of the Year. She has dedicated more than 30 hours a month to the Cape Light Compact’s energy education outreach program. Reagan has been instrumental in training and encouraging young students in energy education outreach through her initiation of a new school energy club in Barnstable and her leadership with the Cape and Vineyard Energy and Sustainability Film Festival. She has been selected twice to serve on NEED’s Youth Award Program staff.

Seven Massachusetts schools received plaques and citations at the State House:

  • Boston Latin High School was named Massachusetts Senior Level School of the Year and selected as a national senior level finalist for its community energy open house; energy audit findings; energy saving grant implementation; updated energy action plan; rooftop wind study and a carpooling initiative.
  • Bourne Middle School was selected as Massachusetts Junior Level Finalist for its solar energy play and supporting materials
  • Cape Cod Regional Technical High School in Harwich was selected as Massachusetts Senior Level Finalist for its posters and videos on electricity, global warming and renewable energy
  • Eastham Elementary School was named Massachusetts Elementary School of the Year and was selected as a national elementary level finalist for the school's energy carnival, which helped educate students about energy science, renewable energy and climate change.
  • Forestdale School in Sandwich was named Massachusetts Junior Level School of the Year for the energy carnival hosted by Solar Power Awareness Kids of Sandwich (SPARKS) and the Solar Power Intelligence Team (SPIT).
  • Harwich Middle School’s Harwich Cares Club’s displays and energy carnival were selected as Massachusetts Exemplary Project of the Year.
  • Sandwich High School was selected as a Massachusetts Senior Level Finalist for its energy research and partnership with lower schools at energy carnivals

Judges determine winners based on eight weighted criteria: project goals, activities to reach to goals, energy content of the project, student leadership, community involvement, use of resources, evaluation methods, and documentation.

In addition to these awards, the recently announced Secretary's Awards for Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education support DOER’s energy education initiative to provide incentives to K-12 teachers and students to embrace clean energy. Clean energy is gaining recognition as a way to integrate lessons related to science, technology, engineering and math, or “STEM.”

Over the past 10 years, NEED has supported the Massachusetts energy education efforts of Cape Light Compact and NSTAR (Northeast Utilities). Now joined by Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, National Grid, and Western Massachusetts Electric Company (Northeast Utilities), the energy education program’s efforts have expanded to regions across the Commonwealth through teacher workshops and classroom curricula.

The NEED Project is a national nonprofit organization that develops and delivers innovative energy curriculum and teacher training materials. NEED programs teach about energy and also develop leadership and critical thinking skills. NEED’s Kids Teaching Kids philosophy encourages students to take responsibility for their own learning and that of others. The project is sponsored by both renewable and nonrenewable energy companies, federal, state and local agencies, energy consumers and by national and state energy and education associations.

The winning schools and students will be recognized at the 33rd Annual Youth Awards weekend, on June 24 in Washington, D.C.