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The Green Apple
The Green Apple BlogThe Green Apple is your Science Connexion news resource. Learn about new equipment just received, sustainable living and energy efficiency ideas for schools.
Thursday, June 30 2011

Salt Lake City, June 30, 2011 – National Energy Foundation (NEF) and Johnson Controls, Inc. (JCI) have announced the winners of its 10th annual Igniting Creative Energy (ICE) Challenge. ICE is a national competition that encourages kindergarten through 12th grade students to develop creative actions and ideas about energy efficiency.

The 2011 ICE winners and the national teacher winner were recognized today at the 22nd annual Energy Efficiency Forum at the National Press Club, where they shared their winning energy ideas with leading policymakers, energy experts and elected officials. Co-sponsored by JCI and the United States Energy Association, the Energy Efficiency Forum aims to promote an energy efficiency ethic through the presentation of national and worldwide views on energy efficiency and the resulting impact on the environment, national security and economic growth. In partnership with Kohler Co., a global leader in kitchen and bath design, technology and water efficiency, this year a special category called "ICE Water" was developed to give focus to the importance of water conservation.

This year's ICE Challenge winners are:

  • Elementary Division (K–5) – Heather Eberhard, a fifth-grader from Northeast Elementary in New Mexico, created an informative video of a puppet show about reducing, reusing and recycling plastic bottles.
  • Middle School Division (6–8) – Aitan Grossman, an eighth-grader from The Nueva School in California, developed a website ( to showcase an original song that he composed and recorded about global warming called "100 Generations."
  • High School Division (9–12) – Adam Hersko-RonaTas, a freshman from La Jolla High School in California, made a self-narrated, animated video about weatherization.
  • Water Category Division – Adrianna Kuzma, a home-schooled sophomore from Indiana, created a self-narrated video about water conservation that includes current water issues, tips to save water and interviews with local government officials.
  • Teacher Division – Michael Nelms, a teacher at Sandy Run Middle School in Dresher, Pa., has helped his Upper Dublin School District net three state champions in the ICE program.

"Students today are taking energy efficiency and water conservation into their own hands by advancing their creative ideas for a more sustainable planet," said Clay Nesler, vice president, Global Energy and Sustainability, Johnson Controls Building Efficiency. "The ICE Challenge winners exemplify our future leaders and stewards of the environment. We are proud to recognize these students for their accomplishments and showcase their ideas at the North America Energy Efficiency Forum."

More information about this year's winning entries can be found at

"Kohler Co. is pleased to be a sponsor of this year's competition. Helping consumers understand how to use water more efficiently in their homes and communities is something we've supported through public outreach efforts such as our website,," said Rob Zimmerman, manager of engineering, water conservation and sustainability for Kohler Co. "We are excited to see young people think creatively about water issues, and we congratulate all of this year's ICE Water participants."

Source: National Energy Foundation Press Release

Posted by: Connexion AT 06:32 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, June 30 2011

A California community college says it is the first in the country to go "grid positive," generating more electricity from its solar arrays than it consumes...

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Posted by: Connexion AT 08:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, June 14 2011

mail-3.jpegThe University of Chicago's (IL) Searle Laboratory recently became the first building on campus to feature an energy monitoring building dashboard system.

The Lucid Design Group interactive display of real-time energy consumption reveals energy data across multiple time scales and according to different unit equivalents including gallons of gasoline, tons of carbon or dollars. The dashboard is the first step in an eventual campus-wide installation of energy monitoring systems...

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The Connexion Green SceneFor more energy efficiency news visit the Connexion Green Scene

Posted by: Connexion AT 02:11 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, June 14 2011

A recent retro-commissioning effort of Harvard University's (MA) Laboratory for Integrated Science and Engineering has resulted in $520,000 in annual savings and a reduction of 800 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.

Previously the Faculty of Arts and Sciences' second largest greenhouse gas emitter, the laboratory's existing building systems were combined into a more "closed loop" controlled feedback approach that allows for common data to be shared amongst the systems...

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The Connexion Green SceneFor more energy efficiency news visit the Connexion Green Scene

Posted by: Connexion AT 01:22 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, June 14 2011

Focus on Green Schools

On August 4, 2011, we invite you to attend our second annual Virtual Green Expo, focusing solely on green schools this year, one of the largest construction sectors in the United States.

This is THE opportunity for you and your entire team to interact, one-on-one with others focused on green schools. We have lined up a full day of exhibitors, webinars, and experts that you can access right from your desk, including our specialized webinar topics on high-performance K-12 and college/university buildings and educational facilities that will address:

  • Specifying interior, exterior and mechanical systems (including plumbing, heating, flooring, roofing and wall systems)
  • Creating a high-performance, healthy learning environment
  • Financing, operating, maintaining and cleaning a green school

Registration for the Exhibit Hall and Webinars are FREE to anyone interested in learning the latest in green schools, so sign up now and tell your friends!

For the full conference agenda and to register, go to

The Connexion Green SceneFor more energy efficiency news visit the Connexion Green Scene

Posted by: Science Connexion AT 01:16 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, June 13 2011

Michigan State University’s Office of Campus Sustainability recently hosted the annual Dim Down program, designed to bring awareness to the amount of electronics people have on during the day, especially electronics not in use.

From noon to 1 p.m. every Friday during the month of April, students and faculty were expected to unplug any unused electronics. By the end of the program, 4.2 percent was the highest energy reduction in a day and some departments on campus created their own monthly Dim Down event...

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The Connexion Green SceneFor more energy efficiency news visit the Connexion Green Scene

Posted by: Connexion AT 02:08 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, June 07 2011

The University of Illinois at Chicago's Hull-House Museum has received a federal grant of more than $15,000 to open a public heirloom seed library to provide free, regionally adapted seeds to urban farmers and gardeners. The public can apply for library cards to obtain seeds if they agree to plant the seeds, nurture the plants and return some seeds from the next generation at the end of the season. The museum is one of 14 national recipients of the Institute of Museum and Library Services' new Sparks! Ignition grants. The program funds innovations that use time and money most productively to expand library and museum services...

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The Connexion Green SceneFor more energy efficiency news visit the Connexion Green Scene

Posted by: Connexion AT 10:25 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, June 07 2011

The University of Chicago (IL) has renovated its Young Memorial Building to make it a more sustainable place to work. The extensive renovation not only considered ways to reduce its environmental footprint, but also ways to promote complementary individual action. Water fountains have a water bottle-filling feature to encourage the community to use reusable bottles and bike racks are mounted on the wall and a shower room installed to support bike commuters. Reusing rather than replacing the building and its fixtures was strongly emphasized during the renovation. Other sustainable features include a cork floor, low-flush plumbing, recycled and reclaimed ceiling tiles, and energy-efficient lighting...

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The Connexion Green SceneFor more energy efficiency news visit the Connexion Green Scene

Posted by: Connexion AT 06:20 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, June 06 2011

A student catches sunlight with a scintillator.Do you know what a scintillator is? Can you use scintillate in a sentence? Thanks to scientists and technologists at NIU, 70 students from Libertyville’s AP physics classes can. The students visited NIU’s Department of Physics in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Mechanical Engineering labs in the College of Engineering and Engineering...

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The Connexion Green SceneFor more energy efficiency news visit the Connexion Green Scene

Posted by: Connexion AT 08:34 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, June 06 2011

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Steven Chu joined with U.S. Department of Education (ED) Secretary Arne Duncan, and Dr. Francis Eberle, Executive Director of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), recently to announce the launch of a new energy education initiative: America's Home Energy Education Challenge. This initiative is working to educate America's youth about the benefits of energy efficiency, motivate students to play an active role in how their families use energy, and help families across the country save money. The program will encourage students, teachers, and families to learn more about energy consumption and efficiency and become more aware of how homes, schools, and utilities are interconnected within the community, while inspiring students to pursue studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The Connexion Green SceneFor more energy efficiency news visit the Connexion Green Scene

Posted by: Connexion AT 06:52 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, June 02 2011

Two universities are implementing energy management strategies that, in at least one case, are projected to deliver big savings.

Two universities are implementing energy management strategies that, in at least one case, are projected to deliver big savings. At Penn State, a university-wide team has invested in PC power management software called BigFix, as part of an overarching initiative...

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The Connexion Green SceneFor more energy efficiency news visit the Connexion Green Scene

Posted by: Connexion AT 06:20 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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