Johnson Controls has announced the launch of its 10th annual Igniting Creative Energy (ICE) Challenge, a national competition for kindergarten through 12th-grade students to share ideas about energy choices and environmental stewardship. The company also announced the addition of ICE Water, a new competition category that adds a water-education component to the traditional energy and environmental educational objectives.

More information about the ICE Challenge and the official contest rules can be found at www.ignitingcreativeenergy.org.

Water efficiency is a growing concern, and nearly 36 states expect to face water shortages within the next five years, according to a 2008 study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. ICE Water integrates the close connection of water and energy conservation into the competition and prompts teachers and students to integrate water into their classroom discussions about energy and natural resources.

Johnson Controls is teaming with Kohler Co. on the new ICE Water category. The companies are joining efforts to encourage youth to think about water conservation as they consider what an individual, family, or group can do to make a difference. Kohler will provide technical and promotional support for the category. Kohler executives also will serve on the judges’ panel for the competition.

Five Grand Prize winners, four student winners, and one teacher will travel to the 2011 U.S. Energy Efficiency Forum (EEF) where they will share their winning projects with national leaders and energy policymakers. Co-sponsored by Johnson Controls and the U.S. Energy Association, EEF aims to advance energy-efficiency issues as part of a broader campaign to raise energy awareness. The event is scheduled to take place June 15-16 in Washington, D.C.

In addition to the national winners, the highest scoring student in each qualifying state or province will receive recognition as the State or Province winner. Through the Johnson Controls Blue Sky Involve program, ICE winners and their schools are encouraged to team up with a Johnson Controls employee to work on a volunteer project that protects the environment in their community. Employees then can submit the project to be considered for a $1,000 grant for the school. In 2006, Johnson Controls developed Blue Sky Involve, its global employee volunteer program, which focuses on environmental stewardship and leadership development among employees.

The ICE Challenge is administered by the National Energy Foundation (NEF) on behalf of Johnson Controls. NEF has served as the ICE education partner over the life of the competition and continues to help create awareness about the competition among teachers and students throughout the nation.

All ICE Challenge entries must be postmarked by March 4; submissions postmarked by Feb. 18 will qualify for additional early bird prizes. ICE Challenge winners will be announced in late March 2011.