HOHENFELS, Germany AcE+' Did you know that a leaky faucet can waste up to 2,700 gallons of water in a year' Or that 3-6 billion trees are cut down annually' Well, if you wandered down the halls of Hohenfels Middle/High School and examined the energy conservation posters created by the 7-9th grade science classes, you'd learn that and a whole lot more.

As part of energy conservation month, Lt. Col. Kevin J. Quarles sat down with students of the H-MHS to discuss ways in which they could help the garrison cut down on energy costs.

"Last year we spent almost $10 million on utilities," said Quarles. "Money that is not going into other projects around our installation."

Part of the installation's conservation plan involves changing how the community uses its utilities, said Quarles.

"This is where the students come in," said Quarles. "We have a remarkable group of children in our community that have boundless personal energy and are affecting positive change in our community now."

Quarles presented the students with various cost reduction strategies and then challenged them to come up with additional ideas on their own.

"I was really excited about how they embraced the challenge and all the ideas that came out as a result of their projects," said Quarles.

"We went and looked up what are the things wasting the most energy," said middle-school student Shelby Atkinson, "And then we looked for something that could help save energy."

Student teacher Stephanie Pappal said the students were asked to look at conservation in a number of areas, including saving energy at school or at home, preserving the environment, combating air and water pollution, or aiding in recycling.

"Sometimes we're just not careful in the way we do things," said Randal Roberts, science teacher. "I mean people are living in government paid housing. One of the kids said to me, you're a little more conscious of energy waste when you have to pay for it."

"We wanted to get the students engaged in the community," Pappal said. "So we asked them, as citizens of Hohenfels community, what are things they could do to save energy."

The students answered that question in consistently creative ways, ranging from a poster of a frightened looking tree clutching a sign that read "Save Me," to another proclaiming "Six ways to help save the planet." The tone varied from warnings like "The Dangers of Air Fresheners" to tips on "How to save energy in the kitchen."

And the lessons went beyond the classroom.

"We don't hardly even use lights anymore," said middle-school student Alex Lange.

"We unplug everything, now" Atkinson said.

"Yeah," agreed class-mate Jack Warren, "because even though you think it's off, sometimes it's still drawing energy."

"The energy awareness posters are incredible," Quarles said. "The content, creativity, and artwork that the students put into their projects is really special, and needs to be viewed by our entire community, not just the parents."

Quarles plans to display some of the posters around the installation.

"We're supporting the community," said Margaret Haupt, science teacher. "We can always count on our students."

We're all challenged to be good stewards of our natural resources, Quarles said. Or as one of the posters asks, "Are you doing your part'"

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16