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West Hartford Student Among Winners of Energize Connecticut ‘eesmarts’ Contest

Alex Patt, a fourth-grader from West Hartford's Solomon Schechter Day School won first place in Energize Connecticut's eesmarts competition. He is pictured at the State Capitol with West Hartford Town Council member Judy Casperson and State Rep. Derek Slap. Courtesy photo

Alex Patt of West Hartford, a fourth grader at Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Hartford, was a first place winner in Energize Connecticut’s 13th Annual ‘eesmarts’  statewide student contest, and was honored Friday at the State Capitol.


Fourth grader Alexander “Alex” Patt of the Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Hartford was chosen as a finalist in Energize Connecticut’s 13th annual “eesmarts” statewide student contest. Alex’s newspaper article was selected from more than 1,200 entries and he attended the ceremony Friday at the State Capitol.

He learned at the ceremony that he had been awarded a first-place prize.

To enter the competition, fourth grade students were charged with writing a newspaper article for their local papers about the importance of saving energy including facts about energy efficiency and conservation. Alex’s article, “Money, Money, Money Saved!” was published in The Hartford Courant in April 2017.

The report was an on-the-scene report from the home of the Flanders, which Alex reported is the leading energy saving home in West Hartford. He continued to point out some of the specific aspects of their home and reported on their massive savings of $1,000 on their electric bill.

This is the third year in a row that students in Schechter general studies teacher Helen Schwartz’s third and fourth grade language arts classes have won the eesmarts competition. “They did research in class, learned the parts of a newspaper article, and wrote, edited and submitted!” Schwartz said.

Schwartz’s third grade students also competed in the competition. Their topic, adopting the persona of a recycled object, elicited creativity, writing practice, and environmentally-friendly consciousness. The students adopted the persona of a variety of objects including a soup-can turned aluminum for a bicycle, plastic jug turned paint pallet, and plastic water bottle turned plastic for a football helmet.

The students spend time learning about the process of recycling in order to explain the journey to transform one item into another. Third grader Andrew Weiss exhibited his high level of recycling knowledge when he referenced the no. 2 triangle on the water bottle meaning that the plastic is harder than other plastic objects.

The Solomon Schechter students embraced a number of the school’s core values through these projects including a love of learning, academic strength, compassion and caring, and global connection.

About the eesmarts contest

Energize Connecticut and its partners, Eversource and AVANGRID, Inc.  subsidiaries, United Illuminating, Connecticut Natural Gas and Southern Connecticut Gas honored 43 finalists during its 13th annual eesmarts Student Contest Award Ceremony at the State Capitol.

More than 1,200 Connecticut students in grades K-12 and college competed in this year’s contest. From posters to persuasive writing, community-based projects to script writing, the eesmarts Student Contest encourages students to utilize their science, engineering, technology, art, and mathematics skills to showcase their knowledge of energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainability.

The ceremony attracted more than 150 students, parents, teachers, elected officials, and clean energy supporters from across the state in celebration of the students’ hard work. Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Deputy Commissioner Mary Sotos served as the ceremony’s keynote speaker, and FOX 61’s Joe Furey was the Master of Ceremonies.

“With on-going advancements in renewable energies, green building and energy efficient technologies, it is imperative that we equip our students to not only be environmentally-conscious but to succeed in this emerging industry,” said Sotos. “It is an honor to be a part of an initiative like eesmarts that encourages students to expand their knowledge and skill set in this subject, and brings their vision of an energy-efficient society to life.”

Representing 22 cities and towns across Connecticut, the 43 winners included:

Alex Platt of West Hartford, a fourth-grader at Solomon Schechter Day School, won first place in the eesmarts student competition. Courtesy photo


First: Landon Paradis, Lebanon

Second: Kayyana Gotti, New Haven

Third: Lasya Josyula, Hamden

First Grade

First: Samantha Roundtree, New Haven

Second: Makayla Ramos, Stratford

Third: KaraLynn Marsh, Newington

Second Grade

First: Fisnik Hasani, Stratford

Second: Bennett Zielinski, Torrington

Third: Renata DeOliveira, Bridgeport

Third Grade

First: Sydney Bronk-Zdunowski, East Berlin

Second: Cole Christman, Hamden

Third: Mariah Jimenez-Ruiz, Middletown

Fourth Grade

First: Alex Patt, West Hartford

Second: Molly Weinberg, New Haven

Third: Waliullah Ammar Khawaja, Hamden

Fifth Grade

First: Mujtaba Ather, Hamden

Second: Olivia Cabrera St. Pierre, Wallingford

Third: Zahara Sumani, Middletown

Sixth Grade

First: Elizabeth Speaker, Torrington

Second: Diana Zito, Marlborough

Third: Natalia Mocarski, New Britain

Seventh Grade

First: Jolie Edwards, Deep River

Second: Ella Pitman, Deep River

Third: Grace McPadden, Shelton

Eighth Grade

First: William Harper, Darien

Second: Ryan Blatney, Darien

Third: Eliana Bouchard, Winsted

High School: Grades 9-11

First: Jacob Manente, Michael Stefano – Windsor

Second: Natalia Lecce, Ashlynn O’Keefe, Amanda Hill, KC Marron – West Haven

Third: Tatianna McQuay-Ward, Tim Gomes, Hunter Wood – Groton

High School: Grade 12

First: Aileen Leon, New Fairfield

Second: Sydney Gouveia – New Fairfield

Third: Thomas Ciardi, New Fairfield


First (tied): Jordan Merrill, Willimantic

First (tied): Paul Stenko, Willimantic

Second: Kate Cobb, Willimantic

Third: Kyle O’Connor, Willimantic

Students in grades K-8 answered grade-level specific prompts in the form of a poster (Grades K-2), narrative (Grade 3), news article (Grade 4), book review (Grade 5), essay (Grade 6), speech (Grade 7), or public service announcement (Grade 8). Students in grades 9-11 competed in the community service-learning project award category, which asked students to propose a community-based project to address an energy-related issue. Students in grade 12 created a persuasive image that advocated for energy conservation, alternate energy source or addressed an environmental concern.

The “Wright the World” category invites college students enrolled in a two or four-year college or university in Connecticut to write a 25-30 minute play supporting the eesmarts curriculum and mission.

For more information on the student contest and the eesmarts program, please visit www.eesmarts.com.

About Energize Connecticut

Energize Connecticut helps you save money and use clean energy. It is an initiative of the State of Connecticut, the Connecticut Green Bank, Eversource, UI, SCG and CNG, with funding from a charge on customer energy bills. Information on energy-saving programs can be found at EnergizeCT.com or by calling 877.WISE.USE.

2017 eesmarts™ winners at the State Capitol with representatives from Eversource and AVANGRID, Inc. subsidiaries, United Illuminating, Connecticut Natural Gas and Southern Connecticut Gas, DEEP Deputy Commissioner Mary Sotos and FOX61’s Joe Furey. Courtesy photo

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