School News

Take me out to the Light Bulb Game!
Posted 03/31/2014 12:00AM

When a new school-wide competition called Light Bulb Baseball was recently announced in All School Meeting, there was a collective gasp and excited laughter, which prompted Sustainability Coordinator Cameren Cousins to quickly add, "But you won't be hitting light bulbs with a bat!"
What the boys will be doing, she said, is competing to save electricity by turning off lights in empty rooms across campus.
Cameren hopes that the boys can lower the average kilowatt hours consumed in student-occupied areas during the school day—an average of 461 kilowatt hours, she said. For three weeks in April, beginning on Tuesday, two teams—The American League and the National League—will earn runs for switching off lights in empty rooms. Four "switches" will equal one run. To make the game more exciting, if one league member switches off a light in an opposing member's team homeroom (there are three homerooms for each league), the opponent gets an "out."

Of course, the boys were reminded not to turn on a light switch just to turn it off, and to employ Sua Sponte as participants, posting their stats on a website set up for that purpose. After the meeting many students rushed to sign up with Cameren and Fenn Fellow Jeff Trotsky '06, who is helping run the project. "This is such a simple thing to do," he said, "and it can make such a big difference."

The winning team will be treated to an ice cream social. Should the school's electric bills in mid-May reflect a decline in usage from the previous period, that team will also enjoy a pizza party.

Light Bulb Baseball is one of a series of Sustainability initiatives this year at Fenn. Recently the lights in the Old Gym were changed to new, lower wattage LED bulbs, and the New Gym is next. Switching to more energy efficient bulbs will cut electricity consumption by 50% in those spaces, noted Cameren, who added that, "We're doing a lot of work around conservation. These are changes motivated by environmental sustainability and financial sense.""

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