Six New Jersey Schools Recognized For Innovative Climate Action Projects

By: Savannah Scarborough, Follow South Jersey Intern

All winners, mentors, administrators, and officials posing together to celebrate the winners of the NJ Student Climate Change Challenge action projects. Photo credit: The Official Site of the State of New Jersey.

SOUTH JERSEY – Atlantic City Electric, Exelon, the Drumthwacket Foundation, and Sustainable Jersey recognized six New Jersey school students for their NJ Student Climate Challenge action projects. The challenge was to create an innovative approach to help address the ongoing issue of climate change. Student team winners and their mentors were recognized and awarded on June 5, 2023, by New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy.

Students from high school to middle school across New Jersey worked with their teams to develop and execute a “school or community-based climate action project and create a digital story video to capture the approach and impacts of the climate projects,” according to the Official Site of the State of New Jersey. Winners of the competition were selected by a panel of judges that included educators and representatives from local non-profits, state agencies, and partner organizations. 

“New Jersey is a proven leader in addressing our nation’s climate change crisis, having been the first state to incorporate climate change education across our K-12 learning standards. As we move closer to our goal of reaching 100 percent clean energy by 2035, I am relieved to know the climate literate leaders of tomorrow are being trained today here in New Jersey,” said First Lady Tammy Murphy. 

NJ Student Climate Challenge funding comes from Atlantic City Electric and its parent company, Exelon, in an attempt to encourage and increase young New Jersians climate literacy. The purpose of the challenge is to foster the growing role students play in addressing climate change. The challenge is the first-in-the-nation effort to incorporate climate change education in K-12 state academic standards. 

“We created this program as a pathway for students to engage in climate education and have hands-on opportunities to make a change in their community right now. The participants clearly demonstrated the bright future we have and should be applauded for their innovation and impact,” said Dough Mokoid, region president for Atlantic City Electric. 

The high school category winners are:

  • First Place: Bug Power! Team from Princeton High School, Princeton Public Schools, Mercer County
  • Second Place: Planet-Over-Profit Team from South Plainfield High School, South Plainfield School District, Middlesex County
  • Third Place: Wall High School Environmental Team from Wall Township High School, Wall Township Public School District, Monmouth County

The first-place winner from the high school category won for their greenhouse that holds the black soldier fly in large capacity to produce animal feed and bug oil. The team was awarded a $2,500 grant to continue their project. 

The middle school category winners are:

  • First Place: Climate Action and Sustainability (CAST) Team from Rosa International Middle School, Cherry Hill Public Schools, Camden County
  • Second Place: Carbon Catchers Team from Howell Township Middle School South, Howell Township Public Schools, Monmouth County
  • Third Place: Edson’s Engineers Team from Ocean Township Intermediate School, Ocean Township School District, Monmouth County

The first-place winner from the middle school category won for their pollinator garden kits. 

“The creativity and innovation these students have put into their project submissions shows just how passionate our youth are about addressing the impacts of climate change and creating a cleaner environment for future generations,” said Doug Mokoid, region president for Atlantic City Electric.

For all of the photos from the event, click here

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