Blue Planet Foundation wraps up 2020 Student Energy Summit

HONOLULU — On Nov. 14, the nonprofit Blue Planet Foundation kicked off its Sixth annual Student Energy Summit, a virtual workshop on clean energy for middle- and high-school students of Hawai‘i.

BPH is committed to solving climate-change challenges and clearing the path for 100% clean energy through bold advocacy, energy awareness and community action, while teaching students how to become aware of energy issues in their communities.

There are more than 100 students participating, learning how to identify climate issues while working with a team and presenting solutions to a panel of judges.

Curren Pope an eighth-grader at Hawai‘i Technical Academy, a charter school on Kaua‘i, is attending the virtual event.

“The energy summit is a great experience, and we are learning a lot about climate change and how we can help,” Pope said.

“It’s also really fun and interesting. Our personal mentor is very friendly and helpful. She is guiding us to come up with a project about climate change and a solution that is realistic for us to do ourselves.”

“In my opinion, this is the best route to saving our planet,” Pope said.

“This summit’s theme, ‘Road to Recovery,’ is centered around working together towards a clean-energy future while focusing on the many injustices and inequities that have come to light in this year alone,” said Griff Jurgens, education director of Blue Planet Foundation.

Jurgens has been working with the keiki for four years, and said he finds joy in what he does.

“This is who I’ve always been, and who I am is working with youth, and I love seeing a light turn on, an ‘a-ha’ moment where it clicks, and I know they will be using these tools to make an impact and do good in their communities,” Jurgens said.

Over two weekends, each student team was tasked with creating a project that addresses one of the issues presented during breakout sessions.

On day one, middle- and high-school students learned the tools of community leaders in the clean-energy field because, according to BPH, Hawai‘i is leading in the clean-energy industry.

“The students learned about the issues that the professionals are dealing with, and how they are adapting to these issues,” Jurgens said. “The students also had activities to help them learn about clean energy.”

On day two, each student learned how to identify an issue and create a solution.

Today, at the conclusion of the summit, the six student winners will be announced, with winners receiving $200 to $500 for their solution-based projects.

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