More than 4,000 students from 167 sixth- through 12th-grade classrooms around the state participated in the 2019 Power Pledge Challenge, an initiative aimed at helping youth better understand energy use.

This year’s campaign covered the largest geographic area of the initiative to date with students competing for regional and statewide prizes. A sixth- through eighth-grade science class from Nome is this year’s statewide winner, according to an announcement from the Renewable Energy Alaska Project.

Students of Randy Smith Middle School science and technology teacher Catherine Kershner were the Fairbanks regional winners. 

Utilities and organizations around the state hosted the challenge as part of Energy Awareness Month, recognized every year in October.

“In the Challenge, students completed a hands-on activity from the AKEnergySmart curriculum, where they learned how to calculate the cost of appliance use and discovered ways to reduce their energy usage at home,” a REAP news release reads. “Students then conducted an online home energy audit with their families and identified specific actions they would take to use energy more efficiently.”

The statewide initiative is held through support of Alaska Electric Light & Power, Alaska Energy Authority, Alaska Housing Finance Corp., Alaska Village Electric Cooperative, Chugach Electric Association, City of Seward, Golden Valley Electric Association, Homer Electric Association, Kwig Power Company, Matanuska Electric Association, Municipal Light & Power, Nome Joint Utility Systems, Kawerak Inc., White Mountain Utilities and the Renewable Energy Alaska Project.