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In Our Community

Inspiring Students to Think About Energy Conservation

22 May 2024

As an energy provider, UGI Utilities relies on professionals with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) skills to deliver safe and reliable energy to our customers. With a focus on sustainability, it is vitally important for UGI to continue to pursue innovation and ensure there are talented people to drive that innovation.

In partnership with the National Energy Foundation (NEF), UGI Utilities is proud to bring the School Energy Education Program to middle and high schools in our electric territory. UGI’s Energy Efficiency & Conservation team facilitates this program with local schools and the NEF.

The School Energy Education Program encourages students to think about how to save energy and water. Through interactive activities, students learn about sources of energy, the limits to the amount of energy we have, and how to become energy efficient, with an emphasis on helping their families save money on utility bills. The School Energy Education Program offers two separate programs for high school and middle school students.

High school students participate in the Energy Innovation Program. Taught by energy educators, students experience an interactive program intended to spark interest in the crucial subject of energy efficiency. Students take part in hands-on activities and receive a take-home energy kit which contains high quality, energy-efficient products, such as LED bulbs, high-efficiency shower heads, faucet aerators, and power strips. Through the innovation kit, students are able to easily transfer what they have learned in school to the home and teach the entire family essential lessons about energy efficiency and conservation.

Student project depicting ways to save water and energy.
This year’s winning project.

After the presentation, high school students are invited to participate in the Innovation Challenge, where students submit presentations detailing their ideas to reduce energy and water usage. This year, the contest yielded 14 submissions from four schools. The winning project, submitted by four students from Northwest Area High School in Shickshinny, artistically illustrated statistics and strategies for reducing energy and water usage. The four students who worked on this project won Beats Studio 3 Wireless Headphones. Two teams were also recognized with honorable mentions and received Power Beats Wireless Earphones as well. As the three winning teams were all taught by the same teacher, the teacher also won a $1,000 educational grant.

Middle school students participate in the Think! Energy Program. Similar to the high school program, students participate in an interactive program and receive take-home kits, but instead of submitting a presentation, students are asked to complete a survey about what items they used in their home. Schools who receive 60% of the surveys back from students are awarded a $250 grant. Out of the 10 schools that participated this year, six of them received the mini-grant.

UGI Utilities is proud to partner with the NEF and local schools to inspire the next generation of STEM professionals.

Follow UGI Utilities on Facebook (@UGIUtilities), Twitter (@UGI_Utilities) and Instagram (@ugiutilities) or visit https://www.ugi.com/community-programs/  to learn more about UGI’s commitment to supporting local students.