Friday, April 29, 2011


It was recently brought to my attention the final total of our savings for the first 12 months of participating in the SEE program has not yet been posted. Well, we came so very close to the $200,000 mark, missing it by just $636. So if you did the math, our total avoided energy costs for 2010 were a savings of $199,364! WOW!!! Thank you to all the students and staff in the Prior Lake/Savage school district for getting on board with the SEE program and doing your part.
We had a goal of reducing our overall energy consumption by 10% and we not only met our goal, we doubled it and used 20% less energy in 2010 compared to our baseline figures.
Way to go everyone! It has been a team effort across the district and with almost 7,000 students and 900+ staff, all the energy conserving measures, no matter how small, have definitely added up to AWESOME SAVINGS!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Earth Day 2011

Tomorrow is Earth Day! The very first Earth Day was celebrated over 40 years ago on April 22nd, 1970. This day was set aside as a reminder for us to think about everything the earth provides for us and to consider ways we can conserve these precious resources. Additionally, this day serves as a huge reminder for us to clean up after ourselves.
So today's energy thought comes from Cara Rieckenberg, the Environmental Ed Coordinator in our school district...
Get outdoors this weekend. 
Breathe deeply.
Be present.
Enjoy the moment.

An Energetic Evening

Thank you to everyone who came out to Science Night Live earlier this week. It was an informative and fun presentation by Joe Hallberg from SEE/Class5 and Hallberg Engineering. Here are just a few images from the Community Education sponsored event.

Hereeeeeee's Joe!

Lots of gadgets and toys made for cool demos.

A student tries her hand at the human power generator.

An energetic wind turbine demo volunteer!

Monday, April 18, 2011


Click here for all the details of this great FREE event tomorrow night. SEE's very own Joe Hallberg is the keynote presenter. One of the students playing the game show recently was asking about harvesting lightening as an alternative energy source so I suggested he come and ask the expert himself.

Please come to the high school on Tuesday April 19th at 7:00pm and check it out!

Awesome Gamers

The images below are just a sampling of the many teams who played the Energy Game Show recently. The two answers students and staff found most surprising were:  how much energy a computer's monitor uses - a whopping 70% of the total energy used by a computer.  And how much energy is used in the United States every minute - a staggering $1,000,000 is the amount consumed in the U.S. every minute of every day, every day of the year! Wow, that's a lot of energy!

Game Show Action

After a whirlwind tour through the district with 44 classroom visits, three meetings and a day being played during all the lunches at Twin Oaks Middle School, the Energy Game Show has left the district. Phew! Check out the pictures posted below...

"Let's play Who Wants to be an Energy Zillionaire!"

Going for the buzzer (action shot).

Smarts boards are great for this interactive multimedia game.

"Hmmm, I think I'll use a lifeline, please."

"Oh no, I should have said B!"

Host: "Correct!"    Contestents: "YES!"

And a fun time was had by all!
Thank you to eveyone who invited me to
play the Energy Game show with them.
See you all at Science Night Live tomorrow night!

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Million Dollar Question!

Watch this video clip to see if these 5th graders at Jeffers Pond know the answer to the million dollar question. Also, at the end of the clip, a student asks about playing the energy game again so there is a brief shout out about the upcoming Science Night Live at the high school which is all about the future of energy. SEE will be there with lots of fun activities all about energy so please plan to attend on Tuesday April 19th, 7:00 PM at Prior Lake High School. It's a FREE event!

Do you know the answer?

Below is another video clip from a Jeffers Pond 5th grade classroom earlier this week. The question is how much money would be saved in electrical costs if 10,000 schools turned off their lights for just one minute?

The four possible answers are:
A) It costs more to turn the lights off than leave them on.
B) $81,900
C) $5,000
D) One minute is not enough time to make a difference.

Watch the video clip to see if you chose the correct answer and pay close attention because the contestant chooses the 50/50 lifeline so the computer takes away two wrong answers.

Energy Zillionaires at JP!

The year two Energy Game Show has been traveling around the district all week. Check out the video clip below from a 5th grade classroom at Jeffers Pond. See if you can guess the answer to this question... In the United States, how much money is spent on energy in just one minute?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Game Show Madness

March madness may be over but the excitement is just beginning here in the district this week as 37 classrooms will be playing the Game Show "Who Wants to be an Energy Zillionaire?" Stay tuned for pictures and video clips to be posted from 3rd - 5th grade classrooms throughout the Prior Lake - Savage district.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Big Savings

While most of the district was on Spring Break last week, lighting projects were underway in three schools. Glendale Elementary had energy hogging light fixtures in the lower level entry and in the media center replaced with retrofit energy efficient fixtures. The annual savings created as a result of this project is almost $1,700 and it will pay for itself in one year and seven months.

At Five Hawks Elementary, the gymnasium lights were upgraded to more efficient fixtures with "instant on" brightness replacing the old lights which took awhile to warm up to their full brightness. The environmental impact of this project can be compared to a total greenhouse gas reduction (in pounds of CO2) of 12186.7 which is like 1.2 cars not being driven for one year. The annual savings is just over $700 with payback in about 4 years.

The blue gym at Twin Oaks Middle School also received more energy efficient light fixtures making it a much brighter space for students and athletes. The annual energy cost savings for this project is $2258.24 with payback in 3.9 years. The cost per school day at TOMS if the retrofit lighting was not installed equals $9.41 or $188.19 per month so some pretty substantial savings. Below are a few images of the new lights.