4/30/2011 10:26:15 PM

Pennsylvania Teens Win Project Polar Bear Contest

The Energy Angels, a team of 14-year-old students from South Allegheny High School in Southwestern Pennsylvania, have won the Grand Prize in Project Polar Bear, a contest held each year by Polar Bears International that challenges teens to create and carry out projects that reduce carbon emissions in their communities.

During the three-month-long contest, the team educated their community about the benefits of switching to CFL bulbs. They also held fundraisers and partnered with local companies to buy the energy-efficient bulbs to give away at community events. In addition, they held a Power Down challenge in their school district in which teachers and parents competed to reduce their electricity bills.

"It was a close contest," said PBI Executive Vice President and COO Krista Wright, "but the Energy Angels' tireless and passionate outreach, upbeat blog entries, and success with community involvement especially impressed the judges."

Second Place went to the AHS Zoo School team from Asheboro, North Carolina. Those teens conducted energy audits to help individuals and businesses cut back on power usage, rewarding participants with donated packs of CFL bulbs. Their prize was a Beluga Encounter at SeaWorld San Diego.

Other finalist teams included the Care Bears of Cincinnati, Ohio, who created a website that promotes and collects pledges for simple CO2-reducing actions, and the Earth Club of Sparta, Wisconsin, who focused on recycling and planting trees, energizing their town in the process.

"The passionate and tireless efforts of all these teens are an inspiration to us all," said Robert Buchanan, president and CEO of PBI. "Even though the contest has ended, they continue to be active in their outreach, demonstrating that individual actions can add up to have an impact—and that makes all of them winners, not only for the polar bears, but for all wildlife on the planet."

PBI received dozens of contest entries from across the U.S. and Canada. Registration for the 2012 contest is October 1-31, 2011.

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