For Immediate Release:

Eastham Elementary- NEED Youth Awards at State House 2014
Eastham Elementary- NEED Youth Awards at State House 2014

Local Students and Teachers Receive State and National Recognition for Energy Education

Barnstable, MA – Students from across the Cape and Vineyard recently received state and national accolades for teaching their communities about energy.

“We are very proud of these students and their teachers for the creativity and exuberance they bring to energy education,” said Maggie Downey, Cape Light Compact Administrator. “These kids are our future and their projects promote awareness, communication and problem solving, all vital for building a sustainable energy future.” Cape Light Compact provides support for the National Energy Education Development (NEED) Program in Massachusetts. The resulting student projects are an exciting and innovative array of efforts that include hosting energy carnivals, launching a recycling program, promoting the use of solar power, and researching hydrogen fuel cells for cars.

At the state level, the NEED awards ceremony was held in the State House Hall of Flags and hosted by Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources. The state awards honored ten Massachusetts schools, including five from Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard.

Advancing beyond the state level, students and teachers from Harwich Middle School and Sandwich High School also traveled to Washington, DC to participate in the 2014 National Youth Awards for Energy Achievement sponsored by NEED.

The list of local schools receiving state and national NEED honors and their projects:

Elementary Level

State School of the Year and National Elementary Level Finalist:

Eastham Elementary, Eastham

Selected Activities: Hosted energy carnivals led by students for students for 480 4th and 5th grade students in other communities, and launched a recycling program.

Junior Level

State Junior Level School of the Year and

National Junior Level Finalist:

Harwich Middle School, Harwich

Selected Activities: Students meet weekly to discuss how to raise awareness and teach valuable lessons about energy, including ways to reduce energy consumption and held a community clean-up. Students also took charge of a recycling program and presented two day-long Energy Carnivals for the students in Harwich and Chatham Elementary Schools. 

State Junior Level Finalist:

Forestdale School, Sandwich

Selected activities: Students held an energy carnival for younger students. Sixth and eighth graders formed Solar Power Awareness Kids of Sandwich (SPARKS) and the Solar Power Intelligence Team (SPIT), researched solar energy and made a presentation to the Board of Selectmen in support of a solar installation at the High School, which is moving forward. Created bulletin boards for the school lobby to educate students about renewable energy, smart energy choices, and sustainability. 

State Senior Level

Senior Level Special Mention:

Nicholas Blackmon, Sandwich High School, for his project, “Alternative Energy Automobiles,”

Selected Activities:  Researched and presented information on the use of hydrogen fuel cells to power automobiles.

State Senior Level Rookie of the Year:

Martha’s Vineyard High School

Selected Activities: Ten Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School students commuted over to the Tisbury Elementary School to help teach third graders about engineering. These students took time out of their busy schedules to pre-plan each activity every week and help students build and refine devices. Activities taught lessons about potential energy, positives and negatives of electrons in the transfer of energy, and energy and circuitry. 

Cape and Vineyard schools have been well represented among honorees at the state and national level. Cape Light Compact schools have received these great honors every year since 2004.


National Energy Education Development Project (NEED) is a national non-profit organization that promotes awareness of the science, sources and uses of energy and energy-related issues. For more information about NEED, visit

For more information about NEED programs on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard, contact Deborah Fitton, Energy Education Programs Coordinator at or visit


Cape Light Compact is an award-winning energy services organization operated by the 21 towns and two counties on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard. The Compact’s mission is to serve its 200,000 customers through the delivery of proven energy efficiency programs, effective consumer advocacy, competitive electricity supply and green power options. For more information visit