Students Help LADWP and City Promote Conservation

By Walter Zeisl

For more than 10 years, students in grades 4-12 have helped LADWP and the City of Los Angeles promote good conservation practices and behaviors through colorful and creative art posters as part of the LADWP-Times in Education Program.

In fiscal year 2019-20,182 posters were submitted from schools in the service territory. The Times staff reviewed the posters selecting 79 finalists. A team of nine Department judges from the Communications and Public Affairs Division and Water Conservation Policy in the Water Resources Division evaluated the remaining posters digitally. First- through third-place awards for each grade were selected. From that pool, the overall Grand Prize winner was selected.

This year’s Grand Prize was captured by Jean Lee, a fifth-grade student from St. James Episcopal School. Her winning poster, which appeared in several large Times ads, depicts a whimsical train decorated with drawings related to water and energy conservation themes. The train travels through scenery of wind turbines and a tree with leaves shaped as recycling symbols. The poster features images of “The Drop” taking a five-minute shower on top of the train and controlling the handle of a water faucet. In the train window is a thermostat with a finger pointing to the off switch and the temperature set at 78 degrees.

With COVID-19 “Safer at Home” Emergency Order in place, this year’s judging took place virtually. The Department’s nine judges reviewed and scored the posters digitally, during three rounds (placements, ties, grand prize winner).

In order for students to participate in the contest, their teachers needed to enroll in the free Times in Education Program. Participating teachers received three guides, access to the Times digital edition, two Department conservation checklists and additional information.

The teachers’ guides, also available on the LADWP website, cover most Department related topics such as history, supply sources, renewable energy, conservation and utility careers. The guides are written using the newspaper as a living textbook.

According to the Times, the program reached 90,000 students in 2019-20. This is the Department’s largest education outreach program.


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