Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Greening of Education

Lots of news - nationwide - regarding green, renewable, and sustainable energy activities. Great to see that it's happening not only in higher ed, but also in secondary education. I think it's really important to get our kids - the next generation - focused on tis topic.

What's your school doing?

College class inspires eco-friendly construction
Kyle Abney was a first-semester graduate student in building construction at the University of Florida when a class in sustainable development changed the focus of his career.

'It completely changed my life,' Abney said. 'It opened my eyes and made me see we needed to be doing things better in the construction industry. There was a lot of waste.'

Suddenly, building in a way that conserves resources and doesn't degrade the environment made sense.

Abney went on to become the first person in the United States to get a construction degree with a concentration in 'green building,' obtaining his master's in 2001. UF was the nation's first university to offer such a degree, and Abney was its first graduate.

Last year, the 33-year-old Abney founded his own company, Abney + Abney Green Solutions, a Palm City-based consulting firm. He and his wife, Harmony, are its sole employees.

Abney works with both residential and commercial construction projects, guiding them through the nationally known Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification process or if clients prefer, the Florida Green Building Coalition's standards.

Sussex school prepares 'green' studentsNorth Jersey Local News | North New Jersey - NJ.com
When the Sussex County Vocational-Technical School dropped the ''vocational'' from its name and changed it to the Sussex County Technical School in the mid-1990s, school leaders envisioned that computers were indeed here to stay.

the Sparta school is jumping on a new trend -- the growing of the green industry -- as it prepares its students for the green-collar jobs of the future.

''This is the wave of the future. It's 21st century education,'' said superintendent Mark Toback. ''We're getting ready for a workplace that doesn't exist yet.''

The new emphasis, or ''general direction,'' as Toback calls it, on the green industry includes encouraging teachers to teach about more environmental issues and alternative energy sources in their classrooms.

The school will also explore ways to reduce its own dependence on oil, and make recommendations to the county freeholders about how an investment in new technologies would help save money in the long run.

Local campuses thinking green : La Crosse Tribune
Although it’s winter, local college campuses look greener than ever.

La Crosse campuses are promoting recycling and energy conservation initiatives this year. ‘In my eyes, the best place to set an example for everyone else in the community is at a university,’ said Matt Groshek, a University of Wisconsin-La Crosse senior and environmental sustainability director for the UW-L Student Association.

UW-L students voted last year to tag an additional $5 per semester onto tuition for a Green Fund for renewable energy and energy-efficiency projects.

Chancellor Joe Gow also signed the Talloires Declaration, a 10-point plan committing the university to environmental issues. One point was to set up practices of resource conservation, recycling, waste reduction and environmentally sound operations.

Wind Turbine To Power Warren School - ClickonDetroit.com- msnbc.com
The Warren school district broke ground Monday on the first wind turbine to be installed at a public school in Michigan.

The 30-foot Windspire turbine will be used to help power the Macomb Mathematic Science Technology Center.

According to the district, the turbine will also offer students the chance to research wind technology and study the future of using wind power to generate electricity for residential or commercial use.

'We're going to set up a computer to monitor the wind speeds and how much power we're actually getting from it,' said senior Lizzy Buchanan. 'So hopefully we'll inspire other schools.'

The students have already built a solar water pond.

Campus turbine gives Hood River teens the (wind) power – OregonLive.com
They are teenagers who love science, who support alternative energy, who know old ideas about natural resources have to change.

With the installation this fall of a wind turbine next to the Henderson Community Stadium, the members of the Hood River Valley High School Earth Club not only turned their beliefs into practice but also learned a valuable lesson in community involvement.
The project, part of the curriculum for the school's alternative energy resources class, inspired the club's dozen members to brainstorm ways to make Hood River's famous wind really work for the local good.

To these teens and many of their generation, understanding and promoting alternative, renewable energy is a given. They want more recycling bins on school grounds and energetically embrace other green projects. Not to mention, they know they can play a bigger role for the environment by teaching their elders.

WTOC, Savannah, Georgia, news, weather and sports | High school going green with solar panel
Jenkins High School is harnessing the power of the sun with a new solar panel. The new solar panel not only saves the school money, but gives students a learning tool.

Georgia Power executive Mike Joyner was instrumental in getting the panel ready for Jenkins.

'Green energy has become more relevant in the county and a lot in school systems are trying to save money,' he said. 'Part of what we are doing is providing solar panels in classrooms to give students hands on application, something they can learn from look at and it promotes green energy.'

Phoenix school gets green makeover
In the computer lab at William R. Sullivan Elementary School, Joy Louis reached under a bank of computers to turn on a 'smart' power strip that will shut off electricity when the desktops aren't in use.

In another classroom, Doug Northway installed fluorescent tubes designed to use up to 30 percent less energy than those he was replacing.

The roof sports new solar panels, intended to save the school thousands of dollars and reduce carbon emissions.

In the courtyard below, students used crayons and markers to create drawings with their visions of energy sustainability.

Turning Green to Gold
Suffield High School recently became the recipient of a $20,000 grant awarded by Connecticut Light & Power in its 'Live Green, Win Green' contest.

The competition, which was open to all high schools in CL&P's service area, was developed to encourage high school students to conserve energy and protect the environment.

To enter, students had to submit a two-minute video and a 1,000-word essay demonstrating their school's 'green' programs and new initiatives they would like to use the grant money for. The Earth Science Club entered the competition for Suffield High School.

'It really seemed like a good way to get all these guys to think about these issues,' said teacher and club mentor Justin Kaput.

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