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Two local boys named winners of Eversource and United Illuminating's eesmarts contest

Region — With more than 250 students across the state who submitted their work, James Waters of Mystic and Adrian J. Bouchard of Waterford are among 28 finalists for the 16th annual eesmarts Student Contest.

"Teaching the young about renewable energy and energy efficiency now will help equip them in the future," said Enoch Lenge, an Eversource energy efficiency spokesperson. "We are giving these students a foundation to keep innovating, learning and practicing in their own lives ways to combat climate change."

Eversource and United Illuminating, Southern Connecticut Gas and Connecticut Natural Gas subsidiaries of AVANGRID Inc. invited students in kindergarten through 12th grade in the contest to answer grade-level prompts on how they would promote energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Winners of the competition received a box in the mail from Eversource with their certificate, an eesmarts water bottle, energy-efficient night light and a $200 Amazon gift card.

Waters, who attends St. Bernard School in Montville, was the first-place winner for sixth grade and wrote a persuasive speech about how the state can become more energy efficient. He ran two years prior, placing third place, but felt "great" about this one, having worked his hardest on it.

"I learned that helping save the environment with clean sources and renewable energy is very important," he said.

Kristopher Waters, James' father, said his son put "tons of work" into the speech and it improved with every draft.

First-place winner for eighth grade, Bouchard did a 30-second announcement on energy efficiency using a PowerPoint and recording his voice. In his announcement, he encouraged people to lower their impact on earth, whether it is insulating homes or using a minimum amount of water.

His mother, Claudia Bouchard, is a science teacher at Teachers Memorial Middle School in Norwich. She pushes her children to participate in contests like this, finding it "really important to problem solve and be creative."

Bouchard in the fall will attend Groton's Grasso Technical High School, where he said he hopes to learn more about engineering.


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