Please Take my Daughter’s Energy Survey!

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How much energy do you use in your household, and how much do you pay for your electricity? I’m asking for my daughter.

Katie is a junior at Mililani High School, my alma mater. Considering that my uncle Gordon was once principal there, I’m kind of glad to see a third generation of Ozawa on the red-dirt campus. I encouraged Katie to take newswriting, which is how I fell in love with the written word (under the stern tutelage of English teacher Faye T. Tanaka), and she did. But when she said she might want to pursue journalism as a career, I told her there’s no money in it.

So she switched from newswriting to theater. D’oh! Fortunately, there are always other electives.

“When I was registering for classes for my junior year of high school, I wanted to take classes that not only interested me, but would give me experiences that I could tell people about,” Katie recalls. “My biology teacher recommended that I take marine or environmental science or chemistry, and since chemistry sounded rather scary, I chose the former.”

It seems to be a good choice, as Katie talks often of the class, and has gone on some remarkable field trips, including camping in the mountains high above Mokuleia.

“My determined and bold teacher, Mrs. Sandy Webb, has also brought in numerous speakers in different fields of science, gave us hands-on experience in pretty much every aspect of the environment that you could think of, and even brought us to a coworking space to get professional advice on what we could do for our projects,” Katie explains. “Part of the big Environmental Science class experience is a project that we’ve focused on for pretty much the entirety of the school year.”

The project is part of the YES Futures program, which is dedicated to “empowering students to learn from the past, observe the present, and change the future.” Katie’s general topic was energy, later narrowed down to energy efficiency, and she and a partner started with grand plans to work with a partner to visit homes and perform energy audits.

“We later decided that in the interest of saving time and a lot of energy (ba dum tsss), we would work on our own, and I would conduct a survey and work off of the results,” Katie says.

So now she needs survey participants, and quickly. She needs results to study, as well as conduct follow up interviews, by the middle of the week in order to be ready to present her findings by the weekend.

“This upcoming Saturday, May 16, the day after I perform at my school’s Theater Showcase, Mililani High’s Science Learning Center is hosting a symposium to not only exhibit the work of my classmates and I, but also to talk about how to get our community interested in ‘saving the world.'”

She’s already received more than two dozen responses (and my friends have even helped her refine her questions), but more data is always better. So I’d like to ask you to fill out her energy efficiency survey, too. It asks for demographics, basic information on your home, your use of appliances and electronics, and the amount of an average electricity bill.

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And you may hear from Katie in a couple of days, as part of the project is to follow up with participants via email to provide advice on how to make your home more energy efficient.

Thank you!

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