HEROES for ZERO!
Sustainability Initiatives Unit presents the 2023-2024 HEROES for ZERO Contest! HEROES for ZERO challenges K-12 student teams to help make their schools “Zero Net Energy (ZNE) Ready” by reducing energy consumption, maximizing energy efficiency, and educating fellow students and staff. Teachers are encouraged to connect ZNE activities with the STEAM curriculum. Teams can earn badges in six HEROES categories and win up to $25,000 for sustainability-related projects at their schools!
Zero Net Energy (ZNE) schools are ultra-efficient and consume only as much energy as they produce from clean, renewable sources. In addition to lowering energy usage and operating costs, ZNE schools can improve student health and productivity. ZNE schools can also serve as teaching tools, providing opportunities to learn about sustainability, high-performance design, and emerging technologies like renewable energy generation and storage.
The steps to ZNE are:
1. Reduce Demand for Energy
2. Maximize Energy Efficiency
3. Utilize Renewable Energy
Click HERE to see the Heroes for Zero 2022-23 Contest Winners.
Interested in joining the HEROES for Zero contest?
Registration for the 2023-2024 contest is closed. Please stay tuned for the 2024-2025 contest!
Check out a variety of resources for energy-related curriculum and learning activities below and on our Resources page! Feel free to discover and use other resources as well.
- Energize Schools offers the following resources to teachers for the Heroes for Zero Competition:
- Energy Conservation Guide: this resource provides schools with the information and tools necessary to develop, implement, and track campus-wide energy conservation campaigns.
- Zero Energy Certificate: this project based learning curriculum leads students through creating a proposal for a zero net energy design for their school. Curriculum sections can be used separately or in any order (high school level).
- Energize Schools can further support high school teachers through planning and in-class instructional support from our expert staff. Request resources here. Learn more here. Their program is sponsored by utility companies and is available at no cost to LAUSD schools.
- Alliance to Save Energy's (ASE) PowerSave Schools has empowered thousands of students across the country to save energy in their schools. PowerSave students learn about energy and energy efficiency by engaging in hands-on projects, using diagnostic tools to assess energy consumption in their schools, and reviewing data results and identifying additional ways to conserve energy. PowerSave students use the school building as a learning lab to solve real world problems and generate cultural change by making energy efficiency visible, important, and doable. ASE has partnered with LAUSD to implement the EmPowered Schools program for the 2023-2024 school year. Sign up for the 2023-24 program here.
- National Wildlife Federation's Eco Schools Program provides guidelines for energy audits as part of its Energy Pathway that can be found on the website.
- National Energy Education Development Project (NEED) - Teacher and Student and other educational resources related to energy.
- US. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy - EERE K-12 Educator Resources roadmap.
- National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) - Virtual Tours and Summits.
- Division of Instruction has provided NGSS Alignment for Heroes for Zero.
- Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) – offers over 700 items in collection of Educational Resources and Educator Toolbox.
- USGBC Learning Lab - provides hands-on curriculum and resources for K-12 educators. Free modules or subscription service for full access available.
- Grades of Green offers free programs that provide fun and interactive Eco-Toolkits to effectively broaden the environmental knowledge of K-12 students. Check out the Energy Audit Eco-Toolkit (LAUNCH program).
Official Heroes for Zero Banner!
2017/2018 Awards Ceremony
View the Winning Entries!
View the Winning Entries!
Special thanks to our ZNE Partner, Los Angeles Department of Water & Power