Students win nearly J$2m in PCJ's energy education competition
The Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) presented cash and prizes valued at more than J$1.8 million to primary and high school students who submitted winning entries in the 2014-15 Schools Energy Competition.
The competition is the highlight of the Schools Energy Programme (SEP), which the PCJ carries out annually as a means of promoting energy education among Jamaica’s youth.
The SEP gives students a first-hand look at the production side of the energy industry through tours of local generating plants including the Petrojam Refinery in Kingston, the Wigton Windfarm in Manchester and the JPS Hydro Plant in St Ann. Participants also get exposure to some of the social and economic issues surrounding energy production and distribution through the Programme’s Energy Seminar Series. The seminars also teach the youngsters about responsible energy usage and the importance of conservation and efficiency.
For the 2014-15 Academic Year more than 1,000 students from 75 schools participated in the tours and seminars. Participants then had the opportunity to put the knowledge garnered to the test in the SEP's Essay, Science and Poster competitions.
Participants in the essay competition were challenged to express how they would address various energy-related issues, including the economic benefits of renewable energy to Jamaica, the impact of climate change and meeting the energy goals outlined in the National Development Plan, Vision 2030.
The poster competition required students to utilise their creativity and artistic talents to design a poster to reflect themes such as “Energy at Home”, “Save Energy Today for a Brighter Tomorrow”, and “Electricity in the 21st Century”.
Entrants in the science competition were required to work in teams to design and build a “green” model of their own school facility which met international standards for energy conservation and efficiency.
More than 260 students submitted entries in this year’s competition and the winners were announced at an award ceremony, which was held at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston on Friday.
“As the agency mandated to drive public education on energy matters, the PCJ has always placed particular focus on the youth who we believe, if groomed, can help to create a more secure energy future,” Group General Manager Winston Watson said while addressing the ceremony.
“The PCJ’s Schools Energy Programme not only exposes youngsters to the dilemma Jamaica faces because of energy security; it also challenges them to apply their creativity and ingenuity to finding solutions and we are very pleased with the way the students continue to rise to the challenge in this competition,” he added.