Last spring, 8th grade students at Dilworth Middle School were left to come up with a plan to reduce energy costs happening within their school's walls. The hands-on research conducted by the students was all part of a program called Project ReCharge which launched in Washoe County schools thanks to a $1.2 million grant awarded to the University of Nevada, Reno's STEM research center.

Laura Petersen, Principal at Dilworth says, “They were interviewing their peers, they were talking with their teachers about how energy consumption works in each classroom and this particular group settled on lighting."

The small group of STEM academy students came up with the proposal to replace fluorescent light bulbs in the school with LED lighting. The students then sent the proposal to the school district and were later approved.

On Wednesday, the lighting materials that were needed were finally installed, thanks in part to a $1,800 rebate provided by NV Energy.

More than 400 fluorescent bulbs were replaced with LED light fixtures in the hallways, cafeteria and office area. School officials say the transition will save the school about $4,000 a year in energy costs.

The students who came up with the proposal are now in high school, many continuing their study's in STEM-based research programs. Even as they've moved on in their education, they've left middle school knowing that they've created a lasting legacy, and it all started with just the simple change of a light bulb.

Justin Jones, the technology project manager with Envirolution says, "The students can say not only did I learn about energy and energy efficiency but then I’m responsible for saving the district over $4,000 a year."