Biggest Energy Loser sparks "light-bulb moment"

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Middle school students in Louisiana, Hawaii and Japan are enjoying learning about energy efficiency through an online pilot curriculum developed by the Department of Energy, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Southern University.

The Biggest Energy Loser Challenge focuses on renewable and non-renewable forms of energy, usage and consumption. Other lessons break down energy source and dependence on fossil fuel based on region and retail prices in countries around the world. As part of the curriculum, students are also asked to conduct a home energy audit, calculating the amount of electricity consumed by everything from clothes washers and dryers to personal computers, light bulbs and televisions.

The curriculum has been eye opening, sparking what could only be called a "light-bulb moment" for students.

A student wrote, "I had no idea that my family used so much electricity until I completed the energy audit. Now I'm making an effort to try to conserve energy by using my window instead of my air conditioner, and by turning the lights off more often."

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