The rivalry between George Jenkins High School and Lakeland has been anteed up. Since 1993, the two schools have battled in both the classroom and on the playing fields. This coming April, however, they enter a new arena, or “ecological wrestling ring,” so to speak. Both schools have agreed to dual in an ecological wrestling match to determine which school can reduce energy use for the entire month of April.
Cleverly named the “WWE Energy Conservation Smackdown,” the WWE acronym does not embody the World Wrestling Entertainment brand that most people watch on late night television. Instead, the WWE in this competition stands for Waste Weary Energy. The purpose of this competition is to raise awareness about saving energy and to earn bragging rights against the rivals .
Both schools will incorporate many programs within the school to help raise awareness for this event. Teacher, Brandy Clark, is in charge of organizing the event. She teaches AP and regular Environmental classes, and she is the club leader for Green Team at Lakeland. Clark is responsible for hosting this event.
“I thought it would be a good to educate the students and staffs of both campuses about the importance of sustainability and energy usage, and it gives us a chance to beat Jenkins in another competition other than sports,” Clark said.
Green Team member and AP Environmental student, Deandre Wortman, offered a similar thought about the competition. “I think the competition will motivate teachers and students to become aware of how much energy we waste and the energy potentials we could save for the school,” Wortman said.
The competition starts with each school figuring out the average amount of power used each month since the beginning of the school year in August. This is the baseline for the competition and will be used as a point of comparison for the month of April. Last year, Lakeland’s energy bill was $352,612.68 from August to July or an average of $32,055.70 for each month. That’s equivalent to many people’s yearly income, and most of this money is spent on wasted electricity.
There are several ways to reduce the amount of energy wasted on campus, and the teachers and staff are the ones responsible for adapting the new procedures. According to Clark, teachers who have windows facing south should turn off their lights and teach using the sunlight instead of the ceiling lighting. The reason south facing windows let in more light is due to the school’s position in the Northern Hemisphere in relation to the sun, and south facing windows receive more direct light.
Another policy that will reduce wasted energy will be to quit feeding the vampires in the classrooms. Yes, vampires. These vampires feed off electricity, even when turned off, often in what is known as standby mode. The list of vampires include all of the following: computers and computer-related equipment such as modems, routers, printers and fax machines, TVs, surround sound systems, any items that maintain a clock such as microwaves, programmable coffee makers, all digital clocks and DVD/VCR machines. These devices are cunning, much like the vampires seen in old movies such as Dracula, fooling many into believing they are off and not using electricity when in fact they use just as much electricity as when they are on.
Second 2 None News, the television production crew, created a challenge video to be aired on Eagle News Network at George Jenkins, and their video will be shown at LHS as soon as both videos are approved by their respected principals. Clark has seen the work that the TV students have put into this video, and says she is really pleased with the finished product.
“It’s adorable! It blows my mind how talented our students are at everything they do and how much effort they put into their work. Jenkins should be shaking in their shoes after they see this,” Clark said.
Besides bragging rights, the winner receives a $250 reward from Lakeland Electric. Clark is trying to secure other prizes from other sponsors as well.
No matter who wins, the staff and students of both schools will benefit from learning about energy conservation and a greener tomorrow, and what better time to start than Spring, the greenest part of the year.
Results Update (5/2/12): George Jenkins reduced its average monthly electricity bill by $7,841.83, while Lakeland reduces its average by $7,341.89.