During last year’s Amazing Earthfest, one of the many documentaries shown throughout the weeklong festival was the award winning film, “Switch.” The film, endorsed by the Geological Society of America, American Geosciences Institute, and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, explores all the world’s major energy sources, and looks at them from both a current and future perspective. The documentary is not only informative and educational; it is also well balanced and objective.

A few months after the 2013 festival, Amazing Earhtfest’s Director Rich Csenge shared the film with the management of Garkane Energy Cooperative. After CEO Carl Albrecht viewed the film, his favorable impression precipitated Garkane’s ordering 15 copies of the film, asking that each school in the cooperative’s service area be given its own copy.

In the ensuing months, folks from Amazing Earthfest and Garkane had a series of meetings with Kane Schools Superintendent Robert Johnson, and several of his staff and teachers. Once his team watched the film, they too were favorably impressed. It was decided that this year’s Amazing Earthfest essay contest, “Energy Technologies Today,” would use the film “Switch” as a springboard for a diverse range of energy topics, open to the interest of each student. Both middle and high school students watched the film, and each high school student in Kane County was invited to participate in the contest.

As this initiative gained momentum, Garkane and the Kane Schools Foundation united to add an incentive to this event. The top five essayists will each receive a $100 award in recognition of their scholarship achievement and will participate in a panel discussion on energy.

On Thursday, April 24, at 7 p.m., the 98-minute documentary “Switch” will be shown once again in the Kanab High School auditorium. After the film, the top five student essayists will be recognized for their fine work, and presented with their awards. The highlight of the evening will be a panel discussion on energy, featuring the top five essayists, with Brent Chamberlain serving as moderator. Those individuals who helped make the event a success will be recognized, and Kane Schools Foundation Board members will be on hand to explain their “$10 for Ten” campaign, celebrating its 10th anniversary.

The entire community is invited to this educational evening. The event is free!

Superintendent Johnson stated, “I believe the partnership between Amazing Earthfest, Garkane Energy, Kane School District, and Kane Schools Foundation, in supporting and sponsoring the essay contest on energy, is very timely and important. “Switch,” which is the premise and structure for the essays, is very informative and gives an accurate portrayal of the importance of energy in our country and the options we have for future energy needs. Everyone who participates by essay or viewing “Switch” will be beneficiaries and better informed. I encourage everyone to attend this public event.”

This year’s Amazing Earthfest, now in its eighth year, begins on Sunday, May 11, and run through Saturday, May 17.