eesmarts contest gives Connecticut students the opportunity to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies

Jun 14th, 2013 | By | Category: Featured Story

Energize Connecticut Announces Winners of 9th Annual Statewide Student Contest

eesmarts-winners-2013-GroupShotEnergize Connecticut, together with The Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund, Connecticut Light & Power and the United Illuminating Company, have announced the winners of its ninth annual eesmarts student contest for students in grades K-12. The contest gave Connecticut students the opportunity to showcase their “energy smarts” about saving energy by answering grade-level specific prompts regarding energy efficient and renewable energy technology. Students submitted entries in a variety of mediums including poems, essays, graphs and artwork.

The ceremony was held in the Old Judiciary Room of the Connecticut State Capitol and attracted more than [INSERT NUMBER] students, parents and energy efficiency supporters in celebration of the students’ hard work. Katie Dykes, Deputy Commissioner of Energy for the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), along with Jamie Howland, ENE (Environment Northeast) and First Vice Chairperson of the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Board, were both on hand to congratulate the winners. WFSB Channel 3 Meteorologist Mark Dixon served as Master of Ceremonies for the second year in a row.

“You don’t have to be an adult to understand the importance of energy efficiency,” said Dykes. “The eesmarts program and annual Student Contest plays an important role in helping students from kindergarten all the way through high school learn and appreciate the importance of energy efficiency and renewable energy, positioning them for a lifetime of environmentally-conscious thinking.”

First prize winners received an iPad and second prize winners received a Kindle Fire. Third place winners received a $25 dollar gift card to Amazon, along with a season pass for their family to a science museum, which includes the choice of The Connecticut Science Center (Hartford), The Discovery Museum (Bridgeport) or Stepping Stones Museum for Children (Norwalk).

New to the contest this year was the “Power of Change” award category for Grades 9-11, which asked students to propose a community-based project plan to address an energy-related issue. The eesmarts program partnered with three Connecticut-based foundations — the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, Hampshire Foundation, and the Common Sense Fund — to identify three winners in this category to receive funding to make their community-based project a reality. The three foundations will together provide grants of $1,000 for first place, $1,000 for second place and $500 for third place. The eesmarts program will match the foundations’ awards in this category.

Representing 20 cities and towns across Connecticut, the winners included:


First: Megan Emerson, St. Martha School, Enfield

Second: Zoe Miller, St. Peter/St. Francis School, Torrington

Third: Lauren Kosha, St. Peter/St. Francis School, Torrington

First Grade

First: Salma Farid, Salma K. Farid Academy, Hamden

Second: Alexis Mastrangelo, St. Martha School, Enfield

Third: Harold Banigas, Maria Sanchez Elementary School, Hartford

Second Grade

First: Yash Bhandari, Newfield Elementary School, Stamford

Second: Margo Katz, Mary T. Murphy Elementary School, Branford

Third: Emma Lee, St. Martha School, Enfield

Third Grade

First: Thomas Kannam, John Lyman Elementary School, Middlefield

Second: Karina McMahon, Burr Elementary School, Fairfield

Third: Nathan Ertl, Marvin Elementary, Norwalk

Fourth Grade

First: Indro Cavanna, Worthington Hooker School, New Haven

Second: Anna Patterson, Stratfield School, Fairfield

Third: Eleanor L. Bryda, St. Anthony’s School, Winsted

Fifth Grade

First: Gianna Benni, Walsh Intermediate, Branford

Second: Emma Gallagher, Walsh Intermediate, Branford

Third: Olivia Katherine Wong, Perry Hill School, Shelton

Sixth Grade

First: Sarah Lewis, King Philip Middle School, West Hartford

Second: Andrew Bean, Wells Road Intermediate, Granby

Third: Lindsay Courser, Wells Road Intermediate, Granby

Seventh Grade

First: Ashlinn Virgulto, Walter C. Polson Middle School, Madison

Second: Imani Shortz, John Winthrop Middle School, Deep River

Third: Michael McMahon, Tomlinson Middle School, Fairfield

Eighth Grade

First: Joseph Bechard & Artur Zielinski, Sacred Heart School, New Britain

Second: Alora Foster, St. Peter/St. Francis School, Torrington

Third: Rowan O’Connell, Frank W. Strong Middle School, Durham

Honorable Mention: Conor Jones, Roger Ludlowe Middle School, Fairfield

High School: Grades 9-12 (Power of Change winners)

First: Anaid Enriquez, West Haven High School, West Haven

Second: Vanessa Brown, West Haven High School, West Haven

Third: Anuj Sisodiya, Trumbull High School, Trumbull

For more information on the student contest and the eesmarts program, please visit

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