This is a guest post by Mrs. Hess, a Conestoga Valley Middle School teacher. Her student won the grand-prize in a previous PPL Electric Utilities poster contest.

The Bright Ideas Bright Ideas Energy Efficiency Student Poster Contest was a huge success in my classroom!

I offered it as an extra credit enrichment assignment to my seventh-grade students and had many students turn in a project. The students worked on their artwork at home, and turned them in to me before the due date.

I read about the PPL Electric Utilities contest and told the students about it a few days later. We took about 20 minutes to discuss as a group how to conserve electricity and ways in which they, as seventh-graders, could help save money at home.

My students came up with an abundant list of ideas to save energy and money at home, and even at school. I was actually surprised by some of their creative ideas!

Once they had a list of ideas, we talked about various types of projects they could complete. Each student completed the project on his or her own time, and I gave daily reminders of the due date.

I was pleasantly surprised when I learned that one of my students had been awarded a grand prize. I received a $500 classroom grant, and PPL Electric Utilities held a pizza party for her class. She even had her name on a billboard along a busy highway in Lancaster. The contest has great prizes for the winners, and I am truly glad that many of my students participated.

I would recommend this contest to teachers because it supplied real-life knowledge for students to use. They were able to see how they can make a difference in decreasing their energy use. It also allows students to use their creativity to express their knowledge. I was impressed with the quality of their projects.