Students explore the benefits of community power and clean electricity
Sunnyvale, Calif. – Silicon Valley Clean Energy (SVCE) recognized local students with $19,000 in scholarship prizes in the annual EmPower Silicon Valley Youth Short Film Competition. Middle school and high school students created documentary shorts, narrative presentations, skits, and more about going electric and local climate solutions.
In the process of producing their short films, students learned about the importance of the clean energy transition. The films focus on two main messages, “Go Electric” and “The Power of Community.” Some students explored electrification topics like electric vehicle adoption, home energy efficiency, and heat pump technology, while others highlighted their community’s efforts to adopt clean energy and address climate change.
One scholarship winner, Calvin Cha from Prospect High School in Saratoga, dove deep into the statistics behind why going electric matters. “I learned about the actual statistics for electric vehicles or solar energy. I knew about how important they were before, but through this short film I was able to quantify it and see the numbers behind why you should switch to EVs or build solar panels,” Calvin said.
The competition encourages students to be creative and engage with clean energy concepts, an important aspect of science communication.
“As high schoolers, our options to fix the world’s environmental issues often seem limited, as we can’t easily write laws regarding climate change or acquire environmental conservation jobs. Making creative content about climate change and clean energy is an amazing and enjoyable way for students to make change in our community besides simply raising awareness,” said Allison Cheng, scholarship winner and student of Mountain View High School.
Three exceptional submissions received top marks for originality and strong messaging. Each winning team or individual was awarded $3,000 in scholarship prizes.
- Energy Impact Award: The Energetic Spirits of Wit by Ava Hwang from Sam H. Lawson Middle School
- Energy Innovation Award: Powering the Future: Go Electric by Calvin Cha from Prospect High School
- Community Enthusiasm Award: One Community, One Future by Valerie Wong and April Beyersdorf from St. Francis High School
Creative Presentation awards of $2,000 each were awarded to the following short films in special categories.
- Best Music Video: The Clean Energy Song by Allison Cheng from Mountain View High School
- Best Storytelling: Stronger Together by Kelly Tung from Monta Vista High School
- Best Documentary Short: Our Skies by Reena Boddukuri from Prospect High School
- Best Social Media Short: Go Electric by Jessica Arganoza, Homeschool
- Best Skit: Electrification 101 by Aaditya Karnataki from Cupertino High School
Submissions were judged by a panel of SVCE board members and staff members.
“Each year I am delighted to see what students come up with to creatively tell stories and educate their parents, community and peers about climate change issues and solutions,” said George Tyson, SVCE Board Chair and Town of Los Altos Hills Councilmember. “As a community organization, it’s important that we engage with our youth and offer them opportunities to learn and be rewarded to further enhance their educational opportunities.”
The EmPower Silicon Valley Short Film Competition is a part of the SVCE education initiatives designed to support and engage youth in our community. View the winning short films at SVCleanEnergy.org/Empower-SV.
About Silicon Valley Clean Energy
Silicon Valley Clean Energy is a not-for-profit, community-owned agency providing clean electricity from renewable and carbon-free sources to more than 270,000 residential and commercial customers in 13 Santa Clara County jurisdictions. As a public agency, net revenues are returned to the community to keep rates competitive and promote clean energy programs. Silicon Valley Clean Energy is advancing innovative solutions to fight climate change by decarbonizing the grid, transportation, and buildings. Learn more at SVCleanEnergy.org.
Principal Communications Specialist