Have you heard of America’s Home Energy Education Challenge [1]? It’s a challenge—designed to get students in grades 3-8 to help their families and communities embrace home energy efficiency.

Launched this year by both the Department of Energy and National Science Teachers Association, the Home Energy Challenge is generating a great response—over 400 classrooms across the United States have registered. View this map [2] to see which schools are participating in your area.

The concept behind the contest is simple: participating teachers and students will compete to reduce energy use in their homes. Teams will collectively challenge other teams in their community, and then compete regionally and even nationally to be the biggest energy savers.

What’s great about this initiative is that you can take on the energy-saving challenge even if you’re not enrolled in the official contest. To get started simply visit the Home Energy Challenge resource page! There you’ll find a host of worksheets, lesson plans, and online tools—ranging from basic physics lessons on the laws of energy [3] to mini energy calculators [4] that help kids pinpoint energy hogs vs. energy savers in their homes.

I encourage you to take some time to the explore resources available and identify a few activities you can use to bring out the creativity and enthusiasm of the young students in your life.

Once you’ve settled on a worksheet, game, website, or lesson plan to explore report back and share what you’ve learned from the activity in the comments section below.

Sarah Jane Maxted leads Innovation Efforts [5] as Special Assistant in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.