Wolcott College Prep: Energy Audit and Allyship in Action

Students: 10
Staff: 5
Mentor: Sean Moran
Project type: Energy Efficiency
Location: Chicago, IL
Grade levels: 9-12

Wolcott students looked to contribute to the national conversation surrounding energy efficiency in schools by looking at their school’s energy usage, implementing conservation strategies and presenting the results at their annual TEDx event. Their presentation to school administration resulted in 18,920 kilowatt hours saved per year from reducing refrigeration, and they have plans to plant trees on campus, replace indoor lights with LEDs and add window film to reduce cooling costs. The students will hold their annual TEDx event on Oct. 24 to share their achievements with a global audience.

Students and staff collaborated to conduct an audit of gas and electrical usage in the school building and analyze the data, sparking ideas for possible areas of improvement and tangible solutions. They successfully developed solutions in a number of different areas, convincing the administration to turn off many of the refrigerators and all of the freezers. They also received $1,000 from the Environmental Education Association of Illinois to help plant trees on campus to offset carbon sequester, and support from Illinois Green Alliance to help fund the TEDx event.

“We want to inspire the world using the TEDx platform to be a green ally with ideas worth sharing. This will be a great opportunity for students to use their voices to talk about a
variety of environmental issues we are passionate about.”

Kenny Bae, environmental science teacher