Darien students earn honors for sustainability

Middlesex Middle School.

Middlesex Middle School.

Middlesex Middle School /

DARIEN - Three town students dominated the seventh grade category in the 16th annual eesmarts Student Contest.

Maya Pujara placed first, followed by Thomas Goertel and Nathan R. Gregory, second and third respectively, in the contest sponsored by EnergizeCT, Eversource, United Illuminating, Southern Connecticut Gas and Connecticut Natural Gas subsidiaries of AVANGRID Inc.

Students submitted their projects during the school year through an online platform. More than 250 Connecticut students from 42 schools in 29 cities and towns submitted visual art, community-based projects and creative writing showcasing their knowledge of energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainability.

In lieu of an in-person awards ceremony, winners were announced and congratulated in a video presentation.

“Climate change is an urgent issue that is of particular concern to young people,” Eversource Executive Vice President of Customer Experience and Energy Strategy Penni Conner said.

“We are so proud of these bright students who put such creative energy into projects that impactfully illustrate the importance of energy efficiency and sustainability,” she added.

Frank Reynolds, President and CEO of CNG, SCG and UI, said he looks forward to reviewing the students’ creations each year.

“It’s been a challenging year for everyone, especially students,” Reynolds said, “but that didn’t hinder their ability to think critically about how energy efficiency can have a positive impact on our battle against climate change.”

To participate, students in grades K-8 completed prompts in the form of either a poster, narrative, letter to the principal, book review, persuasive speech, poem, cartoon or public service announcement.

Students in grades 9-11 competed in the community-based project category, which asked students to propose a plan and budget to address an energy-related issue in their community. Students in grade 12 created a persuasive image that advocated for energy conservation, an alternate energy source or addressed an environmental concern.

To view the full winners announcement video, visit EnergizeCT.com. For more information on the student contest and the eesmarts program, visit EnergizeCT.com/eesmarts-home.