TURLOCK — Taking inspiration from the 1950s, Pitman High School students created an energy-efficiency awareness video titled "Environmental PSA," which won first place in the Turlock Irrigation District's first "Take Action" Energy Efficiency Video Contest.
Amalgamating "Leave it to Beaver" with energy efficiency, the students entered a two-minute video about compact fluorescent lamp bulbs compared with incandescent light bulbs. It portrays a family installing new light bulbs that cut down on power use. The students were honored at a TID meeting with a plaque and other rewards.
In November 2012, the video contest was opened to students living within the TID boundaries. The contest's options for the video topic were CFL versus incandescent bulbs, shade trees and recycling refrigerators.
"The creativity, humor and cinematography" of the black-and-white "Leave it to Beaver"-inspired video, mixed with the energy-efficiency message, earned the video first place, said Pitman High teacher Andy Walker, who also is Turlock Unified School District's energy conservation manager. Walker, who provided the students with the information about the contest, praised the students for producing the video independently.
For their winning video, students Karandip Basra, Barbara Beasley, Andrew Cheesman, Luke Gonzales, Chris Hernandez and Ashlyn Inman were awarded $1,000, to be divided among the group, and an additional $3,000 for Pitman High.
"It is important to teach the younger generation to be fiscally and environmentally responsible in regards to energy consumption," Walker said of the video contest.
The irrigation district received seven entries from schools in its electricity service area, which stretches from south Modesto to north Merced County and west to the hills beyond Patterson.
Hilmar High School placed second with a video about energy-efficient refrigerators. Another team from Pitman was third with a video on light bulbs.
A panel judged the videos on accuracy, creativity, humor and videography.
The top three entries can be viewed at http://tid.org/news or the district's YouTube channel. The TID also is planning to show the first-place video in movie theaters this summer.
Entries for another video contest will be sought in the fall.
Rubani Virk is a junior at Pitman High School and a member of The Bee's Teens in the Newsroom Program.