Stamford's Villa Maria School Wins National Honor In Energy Contest

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Villa Maria School of Stamford won a prestigious national award earning the school a $10,000 grant. Grade 6 and 7 students along with their teachers shared top spot in the America's Home Energy Challenge along with an Indiana school.
Villa Maria School of Stamford won a prestigious national award earning the school a $10,000 grant. Grade 6 and 7 students along with their teachers shared top spot in the America's Home Energy Challenge along with an Indiana school. Photo Credit: Contributed

STAMFORD, Conn. -- The Villa Maria School of Stamford won a $10,000 grant after sharing the top spot in the national America’s Home Energy Challenge contest. 

Villa Maria School and South Ripley Elementary School in Versailles, Ind., will each receive a $10,000 grant for the wins.

The challenge, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and administered by the National Science Teachers Association, encourages children to learn about energy and the benefits of energy conservation.

“Our students worked really hard toward learning about renewable and nonrenewable energy and how to use it in their everyday lives,” teacher Christine Santorella said. “Ms. [Pam] Nessel and I believed that all children deserved the chance to learn whether they are learning disabled or not."

The sixth- and seventh-graders at Villa Maria School and their science teachers collected three months of energy data, created an Energy Savings Pan, recorded new energy data and wrote a detailed narrative explaining their efforts.

The science teachers, Pam Nessel and Christine Santorella, had a special additional task to complete during the Challenge. Every lesson plan had to be modified according to the different learning profiles of their students with learning disabilities. They described each modification in their narratives and taped some of their results.

The science teachers are now deciding how the grant will be used to best benefit the students and Villa Maria School’s community, Santorella said. Science and technology are an integral part of the learning experience at Villa Maria, so everyone is excited about the new opportunities made possible by the additional funds, she said.

Villa Maria School is a private, co-educational day school that serves students with learning differences in kindergarten through ninth grade. 

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