Shut the Sash: Challenge




The Shut the Sash Challenge is a six-week competition + spirit challenge that aims to encourage lab users to reduce energy through one simple action—closing laboratory fume hoods. This year, undergraduate labs in the Science Building will be taking part the October – November 2023 event.

In addition to implementing the Shut the Sash action, undergraduate students and teaching assistants will be encouraged to demonstrate their energy reduction spirit. By completing the spirit tasks described below each lab will be awarded points that will be added to the energy conservation achieved from closing the lab fume hoods.

Challenge Task

Shut the Sash – Close the laboratory fume hood to conserve the most energy.


Spirit Tasks

Photo – 2 POINTS

Take a picture of you and your lab members shutting the sash.

Email picture to  Let us know if we can use the photo in a future newsletter article!

Sticker – 4 POINTS

Make sure that the new Shut the Sash sticker has been attached to all of your lab’s fume hoods.

To receive points, email and request that the spot checker verify on their next visit.

Tongue twister – 3 POINTS

Take a video of a group member saying “Shut the Sash” as fast as they can 10 times.  Bet you can’t get past 5!

Email video or post online and email link to

Prompt – 4 POINTS

Create a custom “prompt” (e.g. sign or sticker) to remind lab mates to Shut the Sash and display it in your lab.

Take a photo of it and email it to

Email – 4 POINTS (+ BONUS)

Send an informative or humorous email to your lab group about “why fume hoods are energy intensive and how shutting the sash saves energy”. Check the FAQs for information.

To receive points, cc in your email.

*Bonus: 1 extra point if it makes us laugh.

Audio – 3 POINTS

Install some kind of noise-making device at your fume hood to reinforce/celebrate each time you shut the sash, e.g. an “easy” button from Staples, or a slide whistle.

Email the picture to

Song – 4 POINTS (+ BONUS)

Rewrite the lyrics to a song – or write an original song – to encourage sash shutting and/or energy saving behaviours.

Email the lyrics to your team and cc

*Bonus: 2 extra points if you perform the song. Take a video of your team performing, upload the video and send a link to


Interested to start a competition in your building or department?


In partnership with