By Jessica Barzilay
As a result of perusing his favorite bandâs website, Jacob Chapman â12 has the chance to win the school a private concert, not to mention a green bus and a green makeover for the school.
Americaâs Greenest School Contest sponsored by IC Bus Inc. selected Chapmanâs original song “Get on the Bus” as one of 10 finalists across the nation from a pool of 550 applicants. The contest requires an entry explaining a theoretical plan to promote eco-friendly behavior at school in the form of a photo collection, video, essay, piece of artwork or music and winning would mean the chance to realize this green plan, with funding and an IC hybrid bus worth an estimated $20,000 and $150,000 respectively. Chapman noticed an advertisement on the website of the contestâs official band, The Maine, and “it just looked like a great thing to do,” he said.
Chapman was excited by the opportunity to combine his love of music with his desire to join the environmental movement, he said. A piano player since age 6, Chapmanâs passion for music has led him to explore many different ways of expressing himself musically, from being the lead singer in a rock band to the lead in a musical to teaching himself guitar. Chapman recorded and mixed the song in his bedroom using a program called Logic, and digitally added in drums and rhythms to enhance the sound.
In his song, Chapman outlines different ways to bring environmentalism to school, but by the last chorus, the bus becomes a metaphor for those already active in the environmental movement and “it encourages others to join the effort,” he said.
From March 22 to April 2 the finalistsâ submissions are posted in a gallery featured on the contest website, and a public vote will decide the winner. As incentive to participate, randomly selected voters will receive $100 Visa gift cards simply for contributing. Chapman hopes to spread the word to as many people as possible, utilizing the same tool through which he discovered the contest: the Internet.
Although he was encouraged by “the obscurity of this contest,” Chapman did not expect a search for updates on one of his favorite bands to yield such an exciting outcome he said.
“Little did I know I would find a digital poster for a contest in which I would be a finalist,” Chapman said.
Chapman said this is his first time trying to make a difference in the environmental movement because to date, his efforts have consisted solely of trying to minimize paper waste for assignments and recycling rather than discarding his trash.
“The need to be greener is increasing and sooner or later, all of us must make some important changes to our lifestyle and the way we use resources and technology,” he said.