Schools’ Challenge” Enlists More than 4,200 Middle School Students in Competition to Save Energy

Press Release
March 4, 2013
Contact Amy Morsch, 703-516-0630,

 “Schools’ Challenge” Enlists More than 4,200 Middle School Students in Competition to Save Energy

Winning School to be Awarded $5,000 Alcoa Foundation Grant

This month, more than 4,200 middle school students across five states are participating in a month-long energy conservation challenge sponsored by Alcoa Foundation and the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES). During the third annual Make an Impact: Change Our 2morrow (CO2) Schools’ Challenge, seven middle schools will compete for a chance to win a $5,000 grand prize or one of several $1,000 grants from Alcoa Foundation.

The CO2 Schools’ Challenge promotes student, family and community efforts to improve energy efficiency in homes through a fun and engaging online competition using an interactive carbon calculator on Alcoa’s Make an Impact website. The website also features energy conservation resources, including an energy efficiency pledge list that enables participants to select actions they will take to save energy and reduce their carbon footprint.

The seven participating schools, which are in proximity to Alcoa’s operations in Fullerton, CA; La Porte, IN; Dover, NJ; New York, NY; and Ferndale, WA, will have support from Alcoa employees serving as volunteers to organize activities and steer the program locally. The grand prize-winning school will be determined based on the highest percentage of carbon calculator and pledge list completions.

“Alcoa Foundation is proud to sponsor the Change Our 2morrow (CO2) Schools’ Challenge and partner with C2ES to educate young people on ways to be more energy efficient,” said Paula Davis, President, Alcoa Foundation. “Through this program, thousands of middle school students will become environmental ambassadors and lead the way in getting their families, friends and communities to improve the environment.”

C2ES will provide participating teachers with suggested lessons and classroom activities tied to the CO2 Schools’ Challenge. All teacher resources are aligned with National Science Education Standards and participating states’ science standards to help teachers better align the challenge-related content with their curricula.

“Knowing the impact of your energy choices is an important first step to change,” said Katie Mandes, C2ES Vice President of Community Outreach and Director of the Make an Impact program. “We hope this challenge will motivate young people and entire communities to learn how easy it can be to be part of the solution.”

In 2012, the CO2 Schools’ Challenge engaged more than 9,000 students, parents and community members in energy-saving activities. Through the use of the carbon calculator and pledge list, participants identified more than 10.7 million pounds of potential reductions in carbon dioxide emissions. This is the equivalent of taking 1,011 cars off the road, or planting more than 124,000 trees and letting them grow for 10 years.

The schools participating in this year’s challenge are:

Ladera Vista Junior High, Fullerton, CA
Valadez Middle School Academy, Placentia, CA
Kesling Middle School, La Porte, IN
Paul F. Boston Middle School, La Porte, IN
Ridgedale Middle School, Florham Park, NJ
MS 424 After School Program, Bronx, NY
Kulshan Middle School, Bellingham, WA

ABOUT ALCOA FOUNDATION: Alcoa Foundation is one of the largest corporate foundations in the U.S., with assets of approximately $460 million. Founded 60 years ago, Alcoa Foundation has invested more than $570 million since 1952. In 2012, Alcoa Foundation contributed more than $21 million to nonprofit organizations throughout the world, building innovative partnerships to improve the environment and educate tomorrow’s leaders for careers in manufacturing and engineering. The work of Alcoa Foundation is further enhanced by Alcoa’s thousands of employee volunteers who share their talents and time to make a difference in the communities where Alcoa operates. Through the company’s signature Month of Service program, in 2012, a record 60 percent of Alcoa employees took part in more than 1,050 events across 24 countries, benefiting more than 450,000 people and 2,050 nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit and follow @AlcoaFoundation on Twitter.

ABOUT C2ES: The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan organization promoting strong policy and action to address the twin challenges of energy and climate change. Launched in November 2011, C2ES is the successor to the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. More information is at

ABOUT MAKE AN IMPACT: The Make an Impact program, developed by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions in partnership with Alcoa Foundation, helps Alcoa employees, their families and surrounding communities reduce energy use, manage their carbon footprint and become a part of the solution to climate change. The program features:

  • A custom-built carbon calculator with individual carbon footprint analysis.
  • A dynamic website with tips, tools and resources on how to reduce energy bills and live more sustainably.
  • A comprehensive outreach program of educational workshops and hands-on activities to support local action.

The Make an Impact: Change Our 2morrow (CO2) Schools’ Challenge program promotes energy efficiency through a fun and engaging online competition, which features educational resources about energy conservation and an interactive carbon calculator. To find out more about Make an Impact, how your company or organization can sign on, or to measure your own carbon footprint, visit