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2020 Winners of the AK Energy Smart Power Pledge Challenge

Dec 17, 2020 | Education, Energy, News, Science

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More than 550 students from thirty-one 4th through 12th grade classrooms around the state participated in the 2020 Power Pledge Challenge, an initiative aimed at helping youth better understand energy use.

This year’s campaign was all virtual with students competing for regional and statewide prizes. A 7th grade science class from Hanshew Middle School in Anchorage is this year’s statewide winner.

Utilities and organizations from the Matanuska-Susitna Valley, Anchorage, the Kenai Peninsula, Juneau, Fairbanks, and statewide hosted the challenge as part of Energy Awareness Month, recognized every year in October.

In the Challenge, students completed a hands-on activity from the AK EnergySmart curriculum, learned how to calculate an online home energy assessment with their families, and identified specific actions they would take to use energy more efficiently.

Jon Dykstra’s 3rd period science class at Hanshew Middle School is the 2020 statewide winner. The class will be awarded energy related classroom materials worth $2,000 and each student will receive a bag of energy efficient supplies to use at home. Five regional winners each earned a pizza party and/or bag of prizes for each student.

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“We are so excited to be this year’s winners of the Power Pledge Challenge,” says Dykstra.

“I have enjoyed these presentations from REAP in my classroom for the last few years, and they align perfectly with our energy unit. I am thankful for the funding to purchase hands-on, engaging materials and labs for my current and future students!”

The 2020 Student Winners

  • Statewide: Jon Dkystra’s 3rd period class at Hanshew Middle School
  • Anchorage Region: Joanna Hubbard’s 2nd period class at Mears Middle School
  • Juneau Region: Jodi Levernier’s Advisory at Dzantik’I Heeni Middle School
  • Mat-Su and Eagle River Region: Mayme Troutman’s 3rd period class at Palmer Junior Middle School
  • Interior Region: Eamon O’Regan’s 3rd period class at Pearl Creek Elementary (Fairbanks)
  • Lower Kuskokwim Region: Larisa Pauza’s 1st period class at Nelson Island School (Toksook Bay)
  • Bering Strait Region: Jessica Smyke’s 3rd period class at Anvil City Science Academy (Nome)


The Power Pledge Challenge began in 2013, offering energy presentations to students in the Anchorage area. The now statewide initiative is held through support of Alaska Electric Light & Power, Alaska Energy Authority, Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, Alaska Village Electric Cooperative, Chugach Electric Association, City of Seward, Golden Valley Electric Association, Homer Electric Association, Kawerak Inc., Nome Joint Utility Systems, Matanuska Electric Association, and Renewable Energy Alaska Project.

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