HARTFORD - Students from around the state were honored recently at the state Capitol during the 13th annual eesmarts Student Contest Awards Ceremony.
The event recognized 43 finalists that participated in the contest – which asks students to showcase their knowledge of energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainability.
Joe Furey, this year’s master of ceremonies, said more than 1,200 students from across Connecticut submitted entries to this year’s contest. The 43 finalists came from 22 towns and cities.
“These students want to make our state a better place to live in,” Furey said of the students who participated.
Mary Sotos, deputy commissioner ofthe Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, served as the ceremony’s keynote speaker. Sotos said she was impressed with the work of the 43 finalists, whose work was displayed around the Capitol building.
“I think I may have some future colleagues in this room,” Sotos said to the students.
Sotos spoke about the need to promote energy efficiency and sustainability, even if not everyone supports the efforts. Sotos said Connecticut remains committed to protecting the environment, no matter what happens at the national level.
“This contest is more meaningful than ever,” Sotos said.
New Britain’s own Natalia Mocarski took home a third-place award for her energy essay. The student, a sixth-grader at Sacred Heart School, said she was excited when she found out she was a finalist.
“I didn’t really expect it,” Mocarski told The Herald.
Students in different grades were tasked with submitting different work. Sixth-graders in the contest were asked to write a persuasive essay to their parents about energy efficiency and sustainability.
Mocarski said she took a creative route with her essay, telling the story of “Spark, the energy bolt.” Overuse of energy made Spark feel sick, the essay said.
To help Spark, the sixth-grader’s essay listed ways her parents could save and conserve energy in their household.
Natalia’s mother, Marzena, said she had goosebumps when she found out her daughter was a finalist for the award.
“I’m very proud of her and the whole school is, too,” Marzena Mocarski said.