Several Oregon-Davis students are trying to make a difference in not just their school, but the community as well. Oregon-Davis High School, as a New Tech high school, offers project-based learning to its students including projects with real-life applications.
A group of seniors approached their teachers with a request to undertake a challenge from Lexus to come up with a way to conserve energy in their community. The group, who called themselves “The Senior Six,” came up with the idea of starting their conservation project with the school itself. So the group, composed of seniors Dakota Cook, Danielle Marsh, Casandra Niles, Lincy Jones, Bailey Masterson and Ashley Thacker, scheduled an energy audit from Kankakee Valley REMC and Franklin Energy.
Dakota Cook said it wasn’t hard to decide where to begin.
“The main idea of the project was to help conserve energy in our community, so we figured what better way to save energy than starting with our school, which is the center of our community,” said Cook.
The nationwide competition, dubbed the Lexus Eco-Challenge, offers a $10,000 prize to the winning team, with $2000 going toward the school and $1000 toward the teacher sponsors, with the remaining money to be divvied up amongst the group members. The group unanimously decided to put the proceeds, if they win, toward college.
Cook explained her group is looking to partner with another group from their school which is working on designing reusable bags for shopping. The partnership, she said, would provide the funding necessary to put the rest of her team’s plan in motion; that is, improving the school’s energy efficiency.
The team is also planning an Energy Fair to explain the importance of energy conservation to younger children, which Cook explained will hopefully take place alongside the FFA Petting Zoo on Feb. 22. Judging for the Lexus competition is expected in February.