Johnson Controls announced the launch of its 10th annual Igniting Creative Energy (ICE) Challenge, a national competition for kindergarten through twelfth grade students to share ideas about wise energy choices and environmental stewardship. To mark this milestone, Johnson Controls also announced the addition of ICE Water, a new category for the competition that adds a water education component to the traditional energy and environmental educational objectives. More information about the ICE Challenge and the official contest rules can be found at http://www.ignitingcreativeenergy.org.
Water efficiency is a growing concern with nearly 36 states expecting to face water shortages within the next five years according to a 2008 study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. ICE Water integrates the close connection of water and energy conservation into this educational competition and prompts teachers and students to integrate water into their classroom discussions about energy and natural resources.
“When we conserve water, we conserve the energy needed to pump and treat it,” said Bruno Biasiotta, vice president and general manager, Energy Solutions Americas, Johnson Controls. “For the last decade, the ICE Challenge has actively engaged youth to think about energy efficiency. Adding water conservation to this thought process enhances the learning experience for today’s students – our future environmental leaders.”
Johnson Controls is teaming up with Kohler Co., a global leader in kitchen and bath design, technology and water efficiency, on the addition of ICE Water. The companies are joining efforts to encourage youth to think about water conservation as they consider what an individual, family or group can do to make a difference in their homes and communities. Kohler Co. will provide technical and promotional support for the ICE Water category. Kohler Co. executives will also serve on the panel of judges for the competition.
“The future of natural resources in the world depends on the actions we take now, and the choices we make in our own lives. It is our responsibility to teach our children to make wise choices when it comes to natural resources,” said Rob Zimmerman, manager of engineering, water conservation and sustainability for Kohler Co. “The ICE Challenge is a great way to teach children about their choices and get them excited about making changes and taking action in their own communities.”
A total of five Grand Prize winners, four student winners and one teacher will travel to the 2011 United States Energy Efficiency Forum (EEF) where they will share their winning projects with national leaders and energy policymakers. Co-sponsored by Johnson Controls and the United States Energy Association, EEF aims to advance energy efficiency issues as part of a broader campaign to raise energy awareness. The event is scheduled to take place on June 15-16, 2011 in Washington, D.C.
In addition to the national winners, the highest scoring student in each qualifying state or province will receive recognition as the State or Province winner. Through the Johnson Controls Blue Sky Involve program, ICE winners and their schools are encouraged to team up with a Johnson Controls employee to work on a volunteer project that protects the environment in their community. Employees can then submit the project to be considered for a $1,000 grant donated to the school. In 2006, Johnson Controls developed Blue Sky Involve, its global employee volunteer program, which focuses on environmental stewardship and leadership development among employees.
The ICE Challenge is administered by the National Energy Foundation (NEF) on behalf of Johnson Controls. NEF has served as the ICE education partner over the life of the competition and continues to help create awareness about the competition among teachers and students throughout the nation.
All ICE Challenge entries must be postmarked by March 4, 2011; submissions postmarked by February 18, 2011 will qualify for additional early bird prizes. ICE Challenge winners will be announced in late March 2011.