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West Carter Middle School Students Win Top Honors For Saving Energy

OLIVE HILL, Ky. (WSAZ) -- Eighth-grade students at West Carter Middle School have had an unusual homework assignment: save their parents' money.

The students have been learning ways to conserve energy and have taken those lessons back to their homes to put into practice. It's paid off in more ways that one.

"We used to have the thermostat at 68, but we've bumped it up to 72," said eighth-grader Jacob Perkins who has been checking thermostats and swapping out light bulbs for weeks. "It's saving money, and it's great for the environment."

America's Home Energy Education Challenge encourages families to conserve. It's sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and is run by the National Science Teachers Association.

It's teaching children to go green and save green. A lot of energy comes from non-renewable resources.

"Coal is a big part of our livelihood," says teacher Beverly McDavid. "This lesson has taught children it's non-renewable, and once it's gone, it's gone."

A team of 145 students succeeded in reducing their home energy use by more than 13 percent. That was good enough for the school to beat out other entries in five different states. Teams were judged on their energy savings plans, student participation and creativity.

West Carter Middle School in Olive Hill received a cash prize of $5,500.

You will find more information about this in the August 2012 issue of "KY Living" magazine.

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