Solar One is excited to announce the winners of the 2012/2013 Solar One-NYCDOE Energy Challenge! This year, 55 schools in Solar One’s Sustainable Schools Network worked to reduce their carbon footprint through energy efficiency measures and behavioral change.The challenge took place over a four-month period from December 2012 through March 2013. Throughout the challenge, Solar One worked with participating schools to inspire school communities to save energy. Educators Joe Chavez and Alex Smith delivered assemblies, helped to kick-start energy awareness campaigns, collaborated with school custodians and green teams, and more!
The winners of the challenge are:
- First Place: PS 084 Steinway with a 22% electricity use reduction
- Second Place: PS/MS 194 with a 20% electricity use reduction
- 1st Place for a school in a campus building: Academy for Environmental Leadership with a 19% electricity use reduction
Over a four-month period from December 2012 through March 2013, Solar One-NYCDOE Energy Challenge schools decreased their electricity usage by an average of 6.8%* as compared to the last two school years, saving 907 metric tons of CO2 and $108,536.
Winners will be honored at a NYCDOE Earth Day ceremony.
Solar One would like to congratulate the winners and all of the schools that participated! We are excited to continue our work to empower NYC schools to save energy.
* Does not include 4 school buildings under construction
The incredible Bronx Design and Construction Academy, a high school part of our CleanTech curriculum and program, has gotten into the final round of the New York City Science and Engineering Fair. They have competed against 550 student projects from a select group of high schools. They were rated in the top 25% and completed in the final round at the Museum of Natural History.
The prizes are highly desirable! The top 20 projects from the final round will receive a $5000 academic scholarship and an all expense paid trip to Arizona and the chance to compete for more than $4,000,000 in scholarships and awards at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Wow!
The Bronx Design and Construction Academy has been part of our CleanTech program and we’ll continue to work with them for the next three years. For those who don’t already know, CleanTech is Solar One’s 10-12 grade curriculum that expands on the core concepts of the existing Green Design Lab curriculum with more advanced and technical content. It introduces students to the CleanTech industry through STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) focused reading material, research projects and hands-on labs.
We wish them the best of luck!
Why use textbooks when you can use your school structure to learn about energy conservation? Many remarkable public and private schools in New York have transformed their campuses into living laboratories for environmental education!
Two of the referenced schools, which are now New York Times famous, have worked with Solar One to achieve their goal of educating their students using their very own school buildings. These two schools, The Bronx Design&Construction Academy and the High School for Energy and Technology, have been nominated for teaching prizes and praised for their accomplishments. The Bronx Design&Construction Academy has created exceptional projects in the past to initiate learning. The High School for Energy and Technology has been using their school buildings to educate their students in many skills, such as energy auditing.
Solar One’s K-12 education program has not only been very effective in working with schools to teach children but also with providing workshops enrichment workshops to further education our kids in many fields, such as renewable energy and sustainable design!
Educators are Back!
Four months after Hurricane Sandy wrecked the Solar 1 building, we are excited to announce we are back in business! Our floors and walls have been replaced along with the beginnings of a new stage.
The fresh floor tiles and paint make the building feel brand new and better than ever! While there are still some minor repairs to be done, the education and park staff are very happy to be back in their home away from home, on the East River.
Thank you to everyone who helped resurrect the solar shack, especially Daisy, Chris, Gary, Josh and Marc.
It would be impressive for college interns to complete a full building energy audit. Yet not only did Solar One’s high school interns from Bayside do a full energy audit of their school, but they created a thirty-page report and were given the opportunity to present the findings to their school’s administration and to the New York Power Authority (NYPA).
As a part of the internship program, NYPA engineers worked with the high school students to teach them to analyze a variety of reports, such as technical drawings and energy accounts. Also, the interns were exposed to the examination of Energy Conservation Measures (ECM), a kind of project or technology applied to reduce energy consumption in a building. ECMs were conducted at several buildings, such as the NYC Department of Education building in Queens.
The energy auditing techniques that the interns and the NYPA engineers used were considered “Level II” auditing techniques, meaning that it was above even the entry level energy pro auditing level.
CleanTech Energy is an innovative, multidisciplinary high-school level curriculum that was designed to increase student knowledge, awareness and understanding of the rapidly evolving field of energy. Beginning with the fundamentals of energy and energy sources, the curriculum follows the arc of energy production, distribution and usage, investigating the environmental, social and economic impacts of each. CleanTech’s unique holistic approach incorporates science, engineering and economic models to examine energy issues such as global trends and consequences of our energy systems and climate change, while local energy use is explored through the lens of building science. Using the school building as a learning laboratory, students will have the opportunity to assess the building with an eye towards increasing efficiency and reducing negative impacts on human health, the environment and climate. Finally, CleanTech introduces the science, emerging technologies and policy of renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and biomass. Complete with a wealth of hands-on activities and student-led investigations, each CleanTech Module contains concepts that support Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) skills with an emphasis on problem-solving, design, innovation and pathways for career exploration.
In coordination with the release of this exciting curriculum, on Monday January 28th, Solar One held the first ever CleanTech Professional Development training. Close to fifty High School teachers joined Solar One education staff at NYU’s Pless Hall to participate with hands-on activities and learn about all the exciting lessons the newly completed CleanTech Energy curriculum has to offer.
Read about what participants have to say about the experience.
“I will definitely be incorporating activities from CleanTech immediately with the Green Team. And I would like to modify them for the Earth Science Labs.” - 9-12th Earth Science Teacher at Samuel Gompers CTE High School
“These activities could fit very nicely into my meteorology and environmental studies course.” - 9-12th Geo-Science. Environmental Science, and Biology teacher, Stuyvesant High School
“These are great lessons, I am really looking forward to using the materials” – Biology teacher, Truman High School
“Solar One has many resources and is readily available and enthusiastic” – Science teacher, Bronx Theater
“The PD was really good, probably the most useful PD I have had in years” – Environmental Science & Urban Ecology teacher, Stuyvesant High School
“Well done and highly informative, Thank you!” – Living Environment, Truman HS
When asked, “Is there a single message that resonated most with you?”
“Remain solution minded when teaching students about climate change” -Chemistry teacher, Park East High School
Expect more news about CleanTECH in the coming months!
One of Solar One Educator Jauna Johnson’s students at High School for Energy and Technology in the Bronx wrote this in honor of MLK day for their school sustainability bulletin board. What a strong student. We can’t wait to see what she and all of our students do next!
A group of interns working with Solar One will soon be presenting their energy audit findings at NYPA. These students from Bayside have been learning science and math skills with the help of NYPA mentors Paul Partmore and Dan Esposito former NYPA college interns. Solar One’ intern program coordinator Dawne Adams couldn’t be more thrilled with the progress the students have made over the past ten weeks.
The team of interns spent weeks taking measurements and detailed records of their school, just like a professional energy auditor would have. They then had to do calculations and real analysis to come to their findings. The students will present their findings to the New York Power Authority (NYPA) next week. They are nervous, but also very excited.
This week, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) recognized Solar One’s Green Design Lab™ in-school education program with their prestigious 2012 Environmental Excellence Award, along with six other organizations creating innovative programs to sustain natural resources and strengthen the economy.
DEC Commissioner Joe Martens announced the awards on Wednesday December 5. Here is his statement from the DEC press release:
“As the Cuomo Administration strives to build a new New York, these awardees today are doing just that by making a positive impact on our economy and improving and protecting our state’s environment,” DEC Commissioner Martens said. “Environmental stewardship requires all stakeholders to work in concert: businesses, not-for-profits, schools, municipalities, government and residents. That’s why the Environmental Excellence Awards are so important. Through them, DEC is able to showcase those who are leading by example.”
Along with Solar One, the awardees included private firms that practice outstanding corporate sustainability; schools that empower future environmental leaders; businesses pioneering green technologies; and municipalities investing in green infrastructure.
Congratulations to the Education team! You can read the entire DEC press release here, and you can learn more about the Green Design Lab™ program here.
Solar One Executive Director Chris Collins receives the DEC’s 2012 Environmental Excellence Award for the GDL
Sandy destroyed park tools. It destroyed educational supplies and program equipment. Flower beds are gone and topsoil is now mud. Trees are down and debris from the surge is strewn around the park. Solar1 flooded two feet above the floor. It is the most destructive event to have ever come to the park.
But Stuyvesant Cove Park will be rebuilt so that it can continue to be a beautiful public space. And Solar One will recover to continue to be a beacon of education toward a new energy future. If you would like to help:
- Donate money securely online to Solar One. All funds will be used to help rebuild our park and educational supplies. (Unfortunately, we cannot accept in-kind donations. We can’t put them anywhere.)
- Volunteer this weekend in a community clean-up effort to join with your neighbors to help remove debris from Stuy Cove Park. We will be cleaning on Friday 11/2 and Saturday 11/3 from 10am – 4pm each day. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm.
Here is where the park shed and the program shed used to be.
The Solar1 stage ended up on the other side of the building–and in pieces.
Plants and trees are down across the park.
Debris and mud are everywhere.
For more pictures and updates visit our Facebook page.