A team of teachers at Grand Avenue Middle School in Bellmore, New York, recently brought energy conservation, leadership and activism into its classroom and students’ lives. The teachers have been educating the students about the value of saving energy, and through the students, they became focused on getting parents to change out incandescent light bulbs for compact fluorescent units (CFLs).

The group used an Internet initiative as both a resource and a way to track the results of their efforts. Sean Krieg, the team’s science teacher, created his “Team Dakota” group on onebillionbulbs.com. With 89 members, the team has changed 223 bulbs to CFLs.

Each of the instructors on the team teaches one subject area to the same group of approximately 120 eighth grade students and has incorporated energy conservation into his or her specific subject area. For example, in math class, the students calculated the energy savings that would occur if every household in the United States swapped out an incandescent bulb for a compact fluorescent. Meanwhile, in their English class, the students have been doing energy conservation-related reading and writing projects.

“The students are really getting into it, and some have made spectacular changes in their households,” Krieg said.

The team who began the Bellmore initiative also has an expanded vision for the future. They would like to mobilize other eighth grade teachers and students across New York state to change light bulbs to promote energy conservation. EC