WASHINGTON (November 29, 2022) – After a nationwide search for the best and brightest sustainable school-improvement ideas, an Arvada, Colorado, fourth grader has been selected from hundreds of submissions as the winner of the Propane Education & Research Council’s (PERC) “Be Like Jack” sustainability contest.
Eloise Saddler, 9, from Jeffco Public School’s Meiklejohn Elementary submitted an idea to plant more trees at her school to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and save water by providing shade to the grass. Her submission won $2,000 for her school to implement her idea. Steve Whaley, the director of autogas business development for PERC, presented Saddler with the check during an assembly.
“Eloise’s passion for science, the environment, and sustainability should serve as inspiration to all of us that we can each make a difference. At PERC, we share that passion, too,” said Whaley. “It’s our goal to ensure that every child has a safe, clean, healthy ride to school on a near-zero emissions propane autogas school bus. If schools implement propane buses alongside these great ideas from their students, children can experience a sustainable school day from the moment they get on the bus, to the moment they return home.”
In addition to the donation, Saddler also won a visit from The Space Gal, Emily Calandrelli, an MIT-engineer turned Emmy-nominated science TV host and co-executive producer of Emily’s Wonder Lab on Netflix. Calandrelli hosted the all-school assembly highlighting the importance of sustainability and performed a fizzy rocket science experiment with Saddler.
“It’s an honor to meet Eloise and learn more about her sustainability ideas that have the power to change the world and make her community a cleaner place to live,” said Calandrelli. “The more we inspire students at a young age to think big about our world, the brighter their future will be. It’s exciting to think what they will accomplish as champions of the environment.”
Saddler, who has been involved in every step of implementing her sustainability idea, worked with the grounds crew at Meiklejohn Elementary to select the location of the tree, which will be planted in the spring.
“We are incredibly proud of Eloise and her commitment to sustainability that is making an impact at our school,” said Carrie Cornejo, principal of Meiklejohn Elementary.
The “Be Like Jack” sustainability contest is named in honor of Jack Kendrick, a student from South Carolina who successfully petitioned his school district to purchase the state’s first propane-powered special needs school bus. Compared to modern diesel buses, propane autogas buses reduce harmful nitrogen oxide emissions by 96 percent. Propane autogas school buses also have the lowest total cost-of-ownership of any fuel, saving districts money that can go back into the classroom.
Learn more about propane autogas school buses by visiting BetterOurBuses.com.