Nearly 100 New York City Schoolteachers have been able to continue offering quality STEM education to over 6,000 students through innovative virtual learning resources created by the Green Design Lab (GDL), a program of NYC nonprofit Solar One.
Since the closure of New York City schools on March 16th, teachers have been struggling to adapt their classes and lesson plans to the online environment. Working fifteen-hour days has not been uncommon, and teachers themselves have had to learn new technology and how to deliver STEM instruction, often very hands on and experiential, in the new virtual classroom.
New York City has been devastated by the COVID-19 crisis, and research has clearly shown that the virus is hitting low-income and underserved communities extraordinarily hard. These are the exact communities that Solar One’s education programs are designed to serve. The city has also implemented massive cuts to in-school and after-school education programs for the remainder of this school year and for the 2020-2021 school year as well. Solar One has responded by offering its educational programs remotely and stands ready to offer its programs in the future once in- person delivery is permitted.
At the start of the pandemic, GDL quickly realized it had to shift focus from in-school delivery of hands-on programming to a virtual format that provides critical support for NYC Department of Education (DOE) and Newark public school teachers. GDL’s distance learning programs include video resources, PowerPoint presentations, interactive and real-time mapping activities, assessments and more. All resources were made available for free to NYC and Newark teachers.
In addition, our GDL team recently created a hands-on environmental STEM curriculum to accompany the documentary Point of No Return – the story of the first solar powered flight around the world. The curriculum was created through a partnership with Far West Films and is a separate curriculum that is not part of existing GDL offerings. Title 1 schools can access the film + curriculum for free.
Solar One and the Green Design Lab are committed to adapting and innovating through this crisis and into the economic and social changes that are sure to follow.
Palm oil, derived from the fruit of the oil palm tree, is a product of the South Asian tropics that has become ubiquitous in the products we use everyday.
Unfortunately, the deforestation associated with palm oil production seriously endangers the survival of the world’s wild orangutan population. The Orangutan Land Trust’s scientific advisory board estimates that some 3,000 orangutans are lost each year to habitat conversion and hunting.
Palm oil hides in many products under many names, so keep reading to learn what to look out for and where when you’re out shopping for ice cream, cosmetics, personal care and cleaning products…all of which usually contain palm oil or palm oil derivatives.
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Solar can be a great fit for NYC cooperatives that are looking to contain their ever-rising operating costs and save for necessary capital improvements. When a large roof is matched with a large ConEd bill, substantial savings can be realized, year after year, once solar is installed. However, no matter how compelling the argument may be, making the case for solar to an overextended volunteer board and a diverse shareholder base that is unfamiliar with the technology can be a challenging, time-consuming and even highly frustrating undertaking . . . and one that many solar contractors are not willing to take on.
So what can be done?
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For the past two years, the NY-Sun Initiative has been working to reach Gov. Cuomo’s goal of increasing New York State’s solar capacity to 3 gigawatts by 2023. So far, the state has installed or contracted 316 megawatts of solar electricity, more than the entire previous decade. And from now until January 30th, schools, non-profits and governments will be able to upgrade to solar systems for bargain basement prices.
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Last week, the de Blasio administration announced some major changes in the city’s sustainability programs: The Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability and the Office of Environmental Coordination will merge into a single Office of Sustainability, to be led by Nilda Mesa, formerly of Columbia University. Ms. Mesa has led the Office of Environmental Coordination since September.
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This holiday season, lots of people will be getting shiny new toys to play with: game consoles, TVs, computers, tablets, phones and smartwatches. Some people will even get new appliances like refrigerators, dishwashers and other appliances. Even though holiday shopping is down this year, rest assured that the holidays still add up to a lot of trash and waste.
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