Atlantic City Electric, Exelon, the Drumthwacket Foundation and Sustainable Jersey honored six student teams for their NJ Student Climate Challenge action projects, which offer innovative approaches to help address the ongoing issue of climate change, according to a news release.

Student teams, from high schools and middle schools across New Jersey, were tasked with developing and executing a school or community-based climate action project and creating a digital story video to capture the approach and impacts of their climate project. Student team winners and their teacher mentors were recognized June 5, 2023, at an awards ceremony hosted by the Drumthwacket Foundation with Tammy Murphy, the first lady of New Jersey.

“It is an honor to host and recognize the future leaders of our green economy at this year’s NJ Student Climate Challenge Action Project Awards,” Tammy Murphy said. “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% clean energy by 2035, I am relieved to know the climate literate leaders of tomorrow are being trained today here in New Jersey.”

The NJ Student Climate Challenge is funded by Atlantic City Electric and its parent company, Exelon, and was created to foster the growing role young people are playing in addressing climate change. The initiative builds on New Jersey’s efforts to increase climate literacy among young people across the state, including its first-in-the-nation effort to incorporate climate change education across all K-12 state academic standards.

“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. “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.”

High School Category Winners

  • 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.

Middle School Category Winners

  • First Place: Climate Action and Sustainability 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.

Winners were selected by a panel of judges that included educators and representatives from local nonprofits, state agencies and the partner organizations. Winning schools received a grant to support their climate education initiatives.

The NJ Student Climate Challenge was open to New Jersey public schools with students in grades 6-12 across the state. Middle and high school students are encouraged to identify and complete a school or community project to address a cause or impact of climate change. The students then create a short digital story video to highlight what they accomplished. Students participate through their respective schools. There is no cost to schools or students to participate.

For photos of the event, please click here.