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Inviting Students to Enhance their Skills in Science, Writing and Renewable & Energy Efficient Technologies

The annual eesmarts™ contest invites students to answer grade level-specific prompts regarding how they would promote energy efficiency, renewable energy and reducing their carbon footprints to their families, fellow students and schools.

Students express their energy smarts through a variety of formats, including poems, essays, news articles, book reviews, posters, images, speeches, public service announcements, community based projects, - and even plays.

All contest prompts align with Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core Standards for Math and English Language Arts. Winners will be honored at a special virtual awards ceremony in June.


The contest is open to all Connecticut students in kindergarten through grade 12. All contest entries must include a completed and signed eesmarts Student Contest Consent & Entry Form.

Teachers who have used and evaluated the eesmarts lesson materials are especially encouraged to have their students participate, though this is not a requirement.


Judges will consider factual and scientific accuracy, originality, clarity of thought, readability, persuasiveness, creativity and appearance. Entries depicting violence or content of an inappropriate nature will be disqualified.


For Kindergarten through Grade 12 (at each grade level)

  • First Prize: $200 Amazon gift card
  • Second Prize: $100 Amazon gift card
  • Third Prize: $50 Amazon gift card

Length & Format

  • Kindergarten through Grade 2 - Posters must be 8.5" by 11" in size. They may be created in any medium (crayons, watercolors, markers, pastels, etc.). Entries for grades K-2 can be submitted online (preferred) or mailed to: eesmarts contest, c/o CREC, attn: Susan Long/CRG, 111 Charter Oak Ave, Hartford, CT 06106.
  • Grades 3 through 8 - Word limits for written entries in each grade level are specified in the grade level prompt (below).  Entries must be typed and submitted online.
  • Grades 9 through 11- All project plans must be between 4 and 6 pages in length – you can include graphs, diagrams, budget tables and references only if they support your plan. Entries must be typed and submitted online. Submissions must include the 2021 Grades 9-11 Student Contest Project Cover Sheet.
  • Grade 12 - Video formats must be compatible with Windows Media Player. Entries must be submitted as a Word document or a PDF. Grade 12 videos can be shared via Google Docs to or mailed to: eesmarts contest, c/o CREC, attn: Susan Long/CRG, 111 Charter Oak Ave, Hartford, CT 06106.

Due Date

Entries and registration forms must be received or submitted online no later than April 30, 2021, 11:59 PM.

Additional resources:

For more information, call 877-514-2594.

Where to send/submit entries. Online submissions are preferred.

Grades K-2 

Grades 3-12 

Grade 12

Submit entries online.

Or mail entries to:

eesmarts Contest
c/o Capitol Region Education Council
Attention: Susan Long/CRG
111 Charter Oak Avenue
Hartford, CT 06106



Submit entries online.

For Grade 9-12 entries, please include the 2021 Grades 9-11 Student Contest Project Cover Sheet for each entry. 


Submit videos via a Google Drive doc link to or through the mail on a thumb drive to:

eesmarts Contest
c/o Capitol Region Education Council
Attention: Susan Long/CRG
111 Charter Oak Avenue
Hartford, CT 06106

Note: Eversource and UI reserve the right to reproduce any entry, in whole or in part, or display entries as a public exhibit. Students are not eligible if a parent or guardian serves as a judge for the contest.


  • March 15, 2021 - Contest is announced and online submission of entries opens.
  • April 30, 2021 - Entries must be received, or submitted online by 11:59 pm.
  • June 2021 - The virtual awards ceremony is posted online. Please check back here to view the awards ceremony and winners.

Entries will not be returned.  

Labeling Requirements

Each entry should have the following information typed or neatly printed at the top, left-hand corner of each page (or on the back of poster entries for Kindergarten, Grade 1 and Grade 2).

  • Student Name
  • Grade
  • School
  • Town/City
  • Educator’s Name
  • Educator’s Email Address
  • School Telephone

Entries without correct labeling will NOT be considered. For grades K-2 please send a completed contest registration form (the last page of the Educator Pamphlet) with each set of entries. You may use one registration form for multiple classes, but please use a second form to separate entries from different grades. For grades 3-12 please complete the online submission form. Be sure to include the information requested above on each entry.

All contest entries must include a completed eesmarts Student Contest Consent & Entry Form.

KINDERGARTEN, GRADE 1 & GRADE 2 – Saving Energy Poster Contest

Design a poster that shows how you can save energy around the house or at school. Be creative and show your eesmarts in saving energy (e.g., turning off lights, using ENERGY STAR® appliances and LED lights, unplugging electronics when they are not in use).

GRADE 3 – Narrative

Write a short story (250 words or less) about saving energy at home or school by recycling; think reduce, reuse, recycle. Explain what your main character is doing to conserve Earth’s limited resources by recycling.

GRADE 4 – Letter to Principal

Write a letter (250 words or less) to the principal explaining the importance of saving energy at school. Your letter should include facts about energy, energy efficiency, and specific ideas how energy can be conserved. Remember to use a strong lead and supporting detail for your letter.

GRADE 5 – Book Review

Write a book review (250 words or less) for The Lorax by Dr. Seuss or Just a Dream by Chris Van Allsburg that includes:

  • What is the book about?
  • What is the book’s theme or message?
  • Your understanding and opinion about the book.
  • How does this book help children to understand the importance of conserving our natural resources and conserving energy?


Note: If your school library does not have a copy of these books, teachers, please email to request one book at no charge.

GRADE 6 – Persuasive Speech

Write a persuasive speech (300 words or less) to the Connecticut Energy and Technology Committee about how our State can become more energy efficient. Include your recommendations for energy conservation, energy-efficient technologies and clean, renewable energy sources. Make sure to consider both sides of the argument (e.g., clean energy is good for the environment; but, it often costs more than fossil fuels).

GRADE 7 – Persuasive Poem or Cartoon

Write a short poem (125 words) or draw a cartoon strip (8-12 cells) on energy conservation, an alternate energy source, or environmental concern. Use your poem or cartoon to try to convince the public that your opinion is scientifically valid.

GRADE 8 – Script for a Public Service Announcement

Prepare a public service announcement (30 seconds) explaining what weatherization means and why it’s important at home. Make sure the information is accurate and that the message is clear and persuasive.

Winning announcements may be used as a component of the advertising campaign for Energize Connecticut programs. 

HIGH SCHOOL GRADES 9–11 – Community Based Project

Create a plan for a project that will help to address energy-related issues in your community. The plan should focus on energy conservation behaviors. The plan must include background information, data (e.g., projected energy savings and monetary savings), a draft timeline and an estimated project budget to be completed in one year time.

Plans will be evaluated on feasibility, detail and impact, use of energy-saving technologies, cost-effectiveness, and scalability. For projects to be implemented at your school or a town building be sure to work with the facilities personnel, administration, etc. Entries must be submitted online and include the 2021 Grades 9-11 Student Contest Project Cover Sheet.

Project can be an individual or group of 3 members or less. First Place winners will be awarded funding up to $1,200 toward implementation of their project.

HIGH SCHOOL GRADE 12 – Persuasive Image

Produce a “Persuasive Image” in words, pictures, or video that advocates for an energy topic. Write a short poem (125 words), draw a cartoon strip (12 cells or less), or make a video (:30 seconds) on energy conservation, an alternate energy source, or environmental concern. Picture yourself meeting with a friend whose attitude on the issue you wish to change to match your opinion.

Entries will be evaluated based on scientific validity and concise and convincing imagery.

Every word counts: remember that a picture is worth a thousand words. Video formats must be compatible with Windows® Media Player. Entries may be shared via Google Docs to or mailed to:

eesmarts Contest
c/o Capitol Region Education Council

attn: Susan Long/CRG
111 Charter Oak Ave
Hartford, CT 06106