OKLAHOMA CITY — Five Oklahoma high school students who created videos promoting geothermal heating and cooling are finalists in a scholarship contest. The winner will be determined by online voting that is going on now.
A consortium of rural electric cooperatives, Touchstone Energy Cooperatives, is sponsoring the contest, along with ClimateMaster, Bosch and WaterFurnace.
The contest is an opportunity for the students to showcase their creativity and compete for close to $60,000 in scholarship dollars and grants while educating the general public on the benefits and the cost effectiveness of geothermal technology that is proving to be a viable solution to rising utility costs and environmental stewardship.
Having advanced through their respective regional competitions, only five state finalists remain. The students and the sponsors are asking everyone to view the videos and help determine the winners by voting online for your favorite videos. Having already won their regional competition and a $3,000 scholarship, these state finalists are now competing for an additional $12,000 in scholarship funds to be awarded to the top three videos. It is a big deal to these kids.
The second round of online voting is now under way at http://www.gogogeochallenge.com. With the online voting accounting for 20% of the total score, every vote counts and could be the difference between winning it all and not making the show.
These five outstanding students and their parents will be recognized during an awards banquet on April 22 in Oklahoma City, with the winners to be announced at that time, following interviews and scoring with our judges.
The Oklahoma rural electric cooperatives are promoting geothermal heating and cooling because of its benefits for the state. If only 20% of the homes across Oklahoma were to convert to geothermal, the co-ops estimate a peaking capacity reduction across the state of around 546 megawatts. This reduction could equate to a little over $1 billion in savings by avoiding or deferring the construction of future capacity, not to mention the environmental impact of such reduction.
To view and vote on the videos, go to www.gogogeochallenge.com. Click on the video you would like to watch, click on the play button and watch the short introduction video, then click on the video and watch through its entirety. Once the video is over, the thumbs up sign at the top left of the video viewer should turn orange. Click it to cast your vote.
To prevent ballot box stuffing, the voting system only allows one vote per IP address every 24 hours.