South Jersey student teams recognized for innovative approaches to addressing climate change

Atlantic City Electric, Exelon, the Drumthwacket Foundation and Sustainable Jersey are honoring six student teams across southern New Jersey for their New Jersey Student Climate Challenge action projects, which offer local solutions to the issue of climate change.

As part of the inaugural year of program, local student teams were tasked with developing and executing a school- or community-based climate action project and creating a digital story/video to accompany the project. Student team winners and their teacher mentors were recognized at a virtual awards ceremony hosted by the Drumthwacket Foundation with New Jersey first lady Tammy Murphy.

“This generation of students will feel the impact of climate change more than any other and they understand the critical need for innovative climate action,” Murphy said. “The creativity, passion and advocacy displayed by our students through their projects fills me with hope for the future and certainty that New Jersey’s youth will be the future leaders of the climate movement for our nation and the world.”

The Drumthwacket Foundation worked with Sustainable Jersey, the program facilitator, to use a $500,000 grant, provided by Atlantic City Electric and Exelon, to develop the contest in Atlantic City Electric’s service area. During the inaugural year, the pilot program provided support and recognition to teams of students from public middle and high schools and fostered 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 students participating and receiving grants represent the best of the best across South Jersey and demonstrate a bright future for the next generation that will shape our continued efforts to combat the climate crisis,” said Melissa Lavinson, senior vice president of federal governmental and regulatory affairs and public policy for Exelon Utility, which includes Atlantic City Electric.

“Climate change continues to impact our communities. From the recent EF3 tornado in Gloucester County to more severe thunderstorms and hurricanes, programs like the New Jersey Student Climate Challenge have never been more important in helping to raise awareness of the need to act and respond.”

High school category winners:

  • First Place: Team MM from Winslow Township High School, Winslow Township School District, Camden County;
  • Second Place: Penns Grove Locavores Team from Penns Grove High School, Penns Grove Carneys Point Regional School District, Salem County;
  • Third Place: Clearview Environmental Club from Clearview Regional High School,
    Clearview Regional High School District, Gloucester County.

Middle school category winners:

  • First Place: Plastic Free AC Team from Sovereign Avenue School, Atlantic City School
    District, Atlantic County;
  • Second Place: The Green Team from Winslow Township Middle School, Winslow Township
    School District, Camden County;
  • Third Place: Radical Rugrats Team from Winslow Township School 5, Winslow Township
    School District, Camden 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 receive a grant to support their climate education initiatives.