October 31st, 2016
Blue Planet Foundation, is inviting middle and high school students from across the state to attend the organization’s second annual Student Energy Summit on November 11 and 12, 2016, at Mid-Pacific Institute on Oahu. The two-day interactive educational workshop zeroes in on Hawaii’s energy challenges and opportunities, aiming to equip the next generation of clean energy leaders with the tools they need to power a renewable energy future.
“These kids get it,” stated Francois Rogers, Blue Planet’s Special Projects Director. “They see opportunities where adults see limitations. The Summit is a one-of-a-kind event that allows them to connect with like-minded peers and grow their knowledge of energy systems, policies, and technologies in an expansive and meaningful way.
Doubling in size from last year, Blue Planet Foundation is anticipating over 200 students from more than 40 schools representing all main Hawaiian Islands. The inaugural summit in 2015 was demonstrably successful, with 98% of participants stating that they would recommend the Summit to a friend. Pre- and post-summit surveys also showed an impressive improvement in knowledge of key energy concepts: 59% of students reported high energy knowledge pre-summit vs. 97% post-summit, while the percentage of students who reported low energy knowledge (41%) shrank to just 3% post-summit.
This year’s Student Energy Summit is presented in partnership with a number of local businesses and organizations committed to Hawaii’s clean energy future, including Hawaii Energy, Energy Excelerator, Cooke Foundation, Mid-Pacific Institute, and Oceanit.
“Hawai‘i Energy strongly supports Blue Planet Foundation’s Student Energy Summit as it brings together future leaders of our state to tackle Hawaii’s unique energy issues, while also keeping front and center the role of energy efficiency in reaching our 100% clean energy goals,” said Brian Kealoha, Hawaii Energy Executive Director. “This type of forward-thinking student conference that’s focused on finding energy solutions is critical to helping us meet those lofty objectives.”
The 2016 Summit will explore a theme of “Cool Schools,” empowering students to think creatively about cooling their classrooms with renewable energy, exploring clean transportation alternatives to fossil fuels, and lowering their school’s overall energy load through efficiency. The first day of the Summit will feature hands-on learning, with a STEM-focused curriculum developed jointly by Blue Planet Foundation, Hawaii Energy, and science teachers from Mid-Pacific Institute. During the lunch break, startups from Energy Excelerator’s portfolio of companies will give real-life innovation pitches to the group of students. Day 2 will be facilitated by experts from Oceanit trained in Stanford University’s design-thinking methodology. Oceanit will walk participants through a human-centered approach to innovation and help them develop and test physical prototypes of clean energy solutions.
Summit participants are also eligible to enter the Energy Innovation Design Challenge, which encourages students to test energy solutions at home or in their schools using the design-thinking methodology they learn at the Summit. Last year, students from Connect 5 Kids on Kauai took home a $2,000 educational scholarship for their winning project.
“Most importantly, the Summit makes learning about energy fun,” added Francois Rogers. “We want to inspire and excite these students about the 100% renewable future that they are going to help create.”
Participation is free and includes registration and meals. Neighbor island students can also attend free of charge by applying for a travel stipend for airfare and hotel accommodations.
Registration is open through the first week of November. Interested students and educators can register online by visiting studentenergysummit.org.
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