1. What is the Challenge?
The Challenge is an incentive based educational opportunity for students K-12 in qualifying school districts throughout the U.S. and much of Canada. Students are asked to use their creative energy to develop entries in the categories of Visual Arts and Music, Science and Technology, and Language Arts. Entries are to relate to the theme “Igniting Creative Energy” and demonstrate character building as it applies to wise energy choices and environmental stewardship. The entries are also to demonstrate an understanding of what an individual, family or group can do to make a difference in their home or community.

2. How will participating students benefit?
Students benefit from taking part in this contest through:

  • Students will learn how an individual’s own wise energy choices and environmental stewardship can help reduce energy consumption and improve the community in which they live.
  • Having the opportunity to demonstrate how they have “ignited their own creative energy” to explore new and innovative ways for making a difference in the ways that energy is used. Using personal creative talents to communicate energy ideas and actions to others. Realizing character building traits and experiencing a sense of accomplishment. Experiencing the possibility of being recognized for outstanding efforts locally as well as nationally and the chance to win a memorable educational adventure.

3. What is awarded to the winners of the Challenge?

See awards page.

4. Who can enter?

All students, kindergarten through 12th grade in qualifying school districts throughout the United States and Canada are invited to enter. Void in Quebec. Immediate family members of Johnson Controls, Inc. or National Energy Foundation employees are not eligible to win.

5. Does my school district qualify?

Qualifying school districts are those who have been invited to participate by a Johnson Controls, Inc. representative.

6. What are the qualifications to participate in the Challenge?

The following qualifications must be met for entries to be eligible for competition.

Each project must …

  • relate to the theme “Igniting Creative Energy”.
  • include a one-page written explanation of the project and how it relates to the theme.
  • be composed of the student’s original work.
  • include the completed application form and include signatures of the student and a parent or legal guardian.
  • be postmarked by April 4, 2014; entries may be submitted anytime prior to that date.

7. How is the Challenge judged?

See judging criteria.

8. How important is the one page explanation?

Very! It will make or break your project and will move you into the next phase of judging. Those who reach this phase will have the possibility of having their project published.

9. Can my friend and I make a project together?
Yes you can. However, if your project is selected to be the travel prize winner, each person in your group will be judged independently based on your individual written explanations. The travel prize will be awarded to the student who received the highest score on their written explanation.

10. What can I do to better my chances of winning?

See student page.

11. Will I get my project back?

No. The projects become the property of the sponsors. If you have concerns or feel like you can’t live without your project, please contact Elissa.

12. Can I send all my students’ entries in one box?

Yes. Please make sure that each individual project, entry form and written explanation are marked with the student’s name. If you choose to send more than one box, each individual’s project, entry form and written explanation must be in the same box. If not, the project may never be matched up to the entry form and the student’s project will not have the opportunity to be judged.

13. How did the Challenge come about?

The Challenge was the result of a partnership between Johnson Controls, Inc. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and National Energy Foundation in Salt Lake City, Utah.

14. Do I have to pay to enter the Challenge?

NO. The Challenge is a partnership program developed by Johnson Controls, Inc. and the National Energy Foundation. Johnson Controls funds the Challenge through an educational grant with additional support from National Energy Foundation.