Plunk…plunk…sploop.. Stu and Ken sat on the edge of the pond tossing in pebbles, soaking in the last few days of summer vacation. It was the start of their senior year, and the conversation soon turned to their waning high school days and their hopes and fears about the future.
“Did you hear that Congress finally got its act together and passed legislation to begin addressing climate disruption in a big way?” Stu Dentt asked. “Yeah, I’m relieved to see that adults are making serious efforts to pass a healthy planet on to our generation. I just wish we students could help somehow,” Ken I. Pitchinn replied.
A few days later in the school cafeteria - “Yo Ken!” Stu called between bites. “Remember how you said you’d like to help the climate situation? Take a look at this,” Stu said as he made his way to a poster at the catsup and mustard counter. It read:
“Clean Energy Transition Plan Essay Contest* - Help your school district reduce energy use and prepare for applying to the Solar on Schools grants program. Essay cash awards include: 1st place - $250, 2nd place - $125, and 3rd place - $75. The 1st place essay will be printed in the Dodgeville Chronicle.”
“Cool!” Ken beamed. “It says students in all 5 high schools in Iowa County can submit essays, so 15 students in all could win cash awards. This is just the kind of thing Ms. Teechur is always talking about - authentic learning. We students CAN be part of addressing real world problems. And if these essays actually persuade school boards to create clean energy transition plans, it’ll reduce kilowatt hour (kWh) usage, save money and help build a more environmentally friendly future.”
That afternoon, in her Current Issues class Ima Teechur encouraged the students to enter the contest. She had some great resources for them to use and would even give extra credit. “Students across the globe are helping to drive the clean energy and energy efficiency revolution,” she said. “Each one of you can be a part of that movement right here in Iowa County. After all, this planet we’re on is our only home; it’s where we’re all forever…Earthbound.”
*Sponsored by Iowa County Clean, Local Energy Alliance – Now (CLEA-N) and the Dodgeville Chronicle - Charles@driftlessconservancy.org for details