Schools across the Commonwealth have designed programs that include energy and environment-related themes ranging from energy efficiency to recycling to renewable energy. These initiatives − which include extensions to mandatory K-12 science curricula – are making students an increasingly important part of Massachusetts’ clean energy initiatives.
Last May, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Sullivan, on behalf of the Secretary’s Advisory Group on Energy and Environmental Education (SAGEE), honored Massachusetts schools, students, and nonprofit organizations from 24 communities across the Commonwealth for their outstanding achievements. Later in May, another group of students and teachers were recognized as Massachusetts and national winners of the NEED (National Energy Education Development Project) Youth Awards. This time EEA Undersecretary for Environment Phillip Griffiths did the honors.
Here’s a sampling of the NEED projects undertaken by these students and their advisors:
- Energy saving lighting retrofit that saves $33,000 annually, an energy jobs program, and elementary school student mentoring program – Boston Latin School
- Outreach and education about solar power for municipalities – Sandwich High School
- “Power-Down” program to raise awareness about energy conservation within the school, which led to a 5.5% reduction in energy consumption – Acton-Boxborough Regional High School
- “Energy Savers” education for school staff, students, and the community about ways to conserve energy – Bourne Middle School
- Energy experiments, poems and essays shared with other students, the Sandwich School Committee and community (via local TV) – The Forestdale School, Sandwich MA
- Energy carnival that included a challenge to families to create an energy efficient house from a box , a club for first grader energy education, and an engineering club that built a solar oven – Eastham Elementary School
- ”Energize for Our Environment” to raise energy awareness: turning the school parking lot into an idle-free zone and selling CFL’s to town citizens – Harwich Community Learning Center
These projects and programs certainly raise literacy among young people. Our hope is that these students will also share this message with their parents and communities: responsible energy use is critical to Massachusetts’ future. The SAGEE and NEED youth programs can help spawn a new generation of forward thinking clean energy movers and shakers.
With the new school year beginning, we look forward to seeing what clean energy initiatives students create this year!
Boston Latin School Honored for Sustainability, Health, Environmental Education posted on Apr 22
Congratulations to Boston Latin School, recipient of a 2014 U.S. Department of Education (USED) Green Ribbon Schools recognition award. The Green Ribbon Schools program, launched by USED in 2011, honors the highest performing schools for sustainability, health and environmental education in the U.S. This year, …Continue Reading Boston Latin School Honored for Sustainability, Health, Environmental Education
Toward Zero Net Energy posted on Apr 10
In late February I had the opportunity to attend the Toward Zero Net Energy (TZNE) Retrofit Program “Charrette” ‒ a collaborative session in which a group of designers drafts a solution to a design problem ‒ at Holyoke Community College (HCC). The purpose of this charrette …Continue Reading Toward Zero Net Energy
Leadership Matters – Images from 7th Green Schools Summit posted on Apr 7
At the 7th Annual Massachusetts Green Schools Summit, students, teachers, legislators and energy officials came together to embrace leadership roles within their communities. DOER Commissioner Mark Sylvia emphasized that clean energy and climate literacy among the current generation of students will be crucial for Massachusetts in the future. “Set the tone, lead the way in the classroom, at home, in the community and for our future.”