UniSource Energy Services educates thousands of students each year about the benefits of energy conservation through hands-on lessons with our popular Bright Students program.
Bright Students is a three-part education program aligned with Arizona Department of Education science standards. The program is offered as part of science or math courses to teach middle-school students about electricity and energy conservation.
The courses are sponsored by UniSource at no cost to schools and teachers. The curriculum includes a pre-visit video, an interactive classroom presentation and a post-visit lesson. The presentation, which lasts between 45 minutes and an hour, includes energy sources, electric generation and efficiency.
“The idea behind the Bright Students program is to teach basic behavioral changes that the students can apply at home. This not only helps their families conserve energy, but it also improves their comfort levels,” said Tammy McKay, Residential Energy Efficiency Program Manager. “Students are encouraged to share what they’ve learned with their parents and siblings.”
The program was launched in 2011 and has grown by popular demand. It recently expanded to include three energy bikes that kids can pedal to power household appliances, helping them compare the electricity needed to light up incandescent, fluorescent and LED bulbs.
“The presentation gives every student the opportunity to ride the energy bike,” McKay said. “My favorite part is when the students have to power up a hair dryer by riding an energy bike. When we switch from cold air to the heat setting, the students struggle to keep the hair dryer operating. It’s an impactful, teaching moment.”
At the end of the presentation, each student receives an Energy Savings Kit – a drawstring backpack with four LED bulbs, a night light, low-flow showerhead, a faucet aerator and kitchen aerator.
In 2018, Bright Students program educators visited 85 classrooms, teaching 2,800 students in Mohave and Santa Cruz Counties.
“The Bright Students program allows our company to invest in our community’s future. It’s the next generation that will continue our efforts to improve energy conservation, environmental impacts and sustainability,” McKay said. “Bright Students is a well-rounded ‘win’ for everyone.”
In addition to the Bright Students program, UniSource also provides free education materials that teachers can use to instruct students about energy, gas and safety.