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Guo at Columbia pens winning design for National Energy Foundation

At Columbia Elementary School, fifth-grade science teacher Lisa Grice, at right, congratulates fifth-grader Sarah Guo for winning the National Energy Foundation poster contest. (CONTRIBUTED)
At Columbia Elementary School, fifth-grade science teacher Lisa Grice, at right, congratulates fifth-grader Sarah Guo for winning the National Energy Foundation poster contest. (CONTRIBUTED)
This illustration shows a portion of Sarah Guo's artwork that won the grand prize with the National Energy Foundation's contest. (CONTRIBUTED)
This illustration shows a portion of Sarah Guo’s artwork that won the grand prize with the National Energy Foundation’s contest. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Sarah Guo earned the grand prize in conceptualizing the National Energy Foundation’s message to “Know What’s Below — Call 811 Before You Dig.”

A Columbia Elementary School fifth-grader, Guo designed the winning poster in the Energy Safe Kids Call 811 Challenge. Fourth- through sixth-graders were eligible.

The foundation promotes public understanding of calling 811 to locate underground pipelines and energy sources.

Contestants also wrote a narrative to explain the challenge theme. “I saw this as an exciting teaching and learning opportunity for my students and me to become knowledgeable about the importance of safety near energy sources,” Columbia fifth-grade teacher Lisa Grice said.

“I wanted people to see the importance of 811 and how they should call before they dig,” Guo said. “I wanted others to know they can prevent problems from happening.”

As grand prize winner, Guo received a Kindle Fire HDX tablet and a trip to Washington D.C. to attend a Washington Nationals baseball game in August. Grice also won a Kindle tablet and will receive a classroom grant for $811.

In addition, Columbia students Anna Toth, Rebecca Wang and Josiah Parker were selected among the 12 finalists for their exceptional artwork. All of Columbia’s artwork will appear in a printed calendar, placed on the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s website, shared in presentations throughout the country and displayed in the U.S. Department of Transportation’s art gallery.

By participating, Grice’s students “have a better understanding of the importance of being safe near underground pipelines and where energy sources are present. They are empowered and prepared to help educate their family, friends and community about making the critical decision of calling 811 before they dig to ensure a safer environment,” she said.

Sarah’s parents are Anlan Zhao and Meng Wei Guo.

National Energy Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to distributing educational materials related to water, natural resources, science, math, technology, conservation and the environment. The foundation develops Energy Safe Kids curriculum.

For more information, visit energysafekids.org.

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