Mason Carpenter, Ramsey Hastings and Jonny Wagner, Spring Hill Middle School eighth graders, are doused with water during a video shoot for an energy efficiency competition. The SHMS video received a first place award and a $3,500 grant for their efforts. Submitted photo

Danedri Thompson
The team sport of going green earned accolades for a group of Spring Hill Middle School eighth graders last week.
The students won a $3,500 grant for USD 230 by creating a video for the Heartland Utilities for Energy Efficiency video contest. They collected their first place award and attended a reception on May 15 in Kansas City, Mo. Guests, including teams from other metro area schools, enjoyed watching the SHMS video.
“People were laughing at our video,” SHMS eighth grader Ramsey Hastings said.
That was kind of the point. The minute-and-a-half long video shows three students “winning” at the sport of going green. In the early moments of the video, Hastings and fellow eighth graders Mason Carpenter and Jonny Wagner, also known as the Green Team, are doused with coolers of water on the SHMS football field as if they’ve just won a big game.
The video cuts to a press conference where the three students take questions from student reporters on how they were able to win at going green.
For example, Carpenter recalls sitting in class and noticing that a window was open while the (HEAT, AC) was on. He takes necessary steps to correct the problem and save energy.
An application the eighth graders submitted with their video explains that the same words that are used in sports can be used in saving energy.
“That is how we came up with the idea of the Green Team,” the application reads. “…’Discipline’ is another word that is used in sports and in going green. Once we are aware of the things we can do to save energy we need to have the discipline to do the right thing. For example, we can turn off lights, shut windows, change filters, fix leaks and unplug electrical devices that are not being used.”
Wagner said students learned a lot about energy efficiency while creating the video and application.

Members of the SHMS Going Green is a Team Sport group pose for a photo after collecting their award in Kansas City, Mo. on May 15. They include Colton Hamilton, Hannah Grier, Jonny Wagner, MaKayla Kosberg, Ramsey Hastings, Krystiana Henwood, Mason Carpenter and Ryan Haupt. Staff photo by Danedri Thompson

“It really made me think about how much money I can save by just turning off the lights,” Wagner explained.
The grant funds the students won will also go to helping the school district save on energy costs down the line. The $3,500 will help replace metal halides in the gymnasium with higher efficiency lighting.
Tom Carbajo, SHMS technology teacher, assisted the students in creating the video and writing the application.
“Those kids had fun doing the takes and retakes,” Carbajo said. “they were really god about trying to make it the best video.”