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Category Archives:

Green Design Lab

What Your Gift to Solar One Can Do

The end of the year is coming up fast, and when it does, our Matching Gift grant from the Posner Foundation of Pittsburgh ends as well. So now is the time to make the most impactful gift to Solar One- one that will make a huge difference in the lives of the people we serve, like K-12 students, workforce trainees and downtown residents who are more in need of public green space than ever before.

So here’s what we can accomplish when you make a gift today, which will be matched dollar for dollar:

For the Green Design Lab K-12 Education Program:

One $250 gift (or ten $25 gifts):
Give a class an opportunity to design and build small solar powered cars. GDL educators have helped tens of thousands of students learn about solar power using the solar race car over the past 15+ years!

One $500 gift (or five $100 gifts):
Help us build a 100-watt solar system with energy storage for a Schoolyard Solar project.

For the Green Workforce Training Program:

One $1,000 gift (or four $250 gifts):
Buy solar panels, drills, and other tools for hands-on training in our Workforce Lab.

For Stuyvesant Cove Park:

One $1,500 gift (or ten $150 gifts):
Sponsor one of our new live community education events featuring local artists, farmers, soil experts, and NYC historians.

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NYC DoE Holds First Climate Summit

Teachers, Instructional Coaches, and Educators from across the DOE participated in the first NYC DOE Climate Summit at the NY Hall of Science in Queens, NY. The Summit was organized by the Office of Sustainability, Solar One, and the Climate and Urban Systems Partnership in an effort to profile the diversity of climate change and how it relates to a variety of school activities and curriculum.

Activities in the two Round Robin sessions included mapping visualizations, climate themed simulations and games, school climate risk assessments, data analysis, health impacts, and climate advocacy.

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It’s National Teacher Appreciation Day!

Happy Teacher Appreciation Day! We are so inspired by the courageous work of educators in and out of the classroom. Your commitment and dedication continues to cultivate the minds of so many students, encouraging them to reach their full potential. We are so grateful for your passion and enthusiasm for STEM education; we thank you today and every day!
As a token of our appreciation, below are three sample activities from the Green Design Lab Curriculum!

And even if you’re not a professional educator, you might enjoy doing these activities with your own kids- they’re educational AND fun!

  • Elementary Air Quality Index – In this activity, students are introduced to the concept of Air Quality through a role playing game.
  • Middle School Classroom Energy Audit – In this activity, students will use watt meters to determine the amount of energy different classroom appliances use.
  • High School Down the Drain Game – In this activity, students explore what happens to water when it goes down the drain. They will investigate what a CSO (combined sewer overflow) is as well as methods for storm water management.
Let us know how you are celebrating with the hashtag #GreenDesignLab on Twitter and Facebook. Learn more about bringing the Green Design Lab to your school here!

 

Teaching Teachers to Teach Climate Science

This letter, by Solar One BFF Joy Garland, appeared in the December 28, 2017 Letters to the Editor in Town & Village newspaper.

Have you ever wondered how schools are preparing our students from kindergarten through high school to understand climate, how it affects us and what we can do about it? One solution that has been suggested is to reach out to the teacher training colleges who prepare the adult students to be teachers before they enter the children’s classrooms. Here in New York City, Teachers College, Columbia University and New York University are both participating with the New York CityDepartment Of Education (DOE) Office of Sustainability, to increase environmental and sustainability education for teachers and students. There is also an initiative from NYC DOE to strengthen the sustainability coordinator position in each public school.

We were delighted that State Senator Brian Kavanaugh was able to speak at the recent meeting of the Environmental Education Advisory Council (EEAC) dealing with the aforementioned issues. The senator spoke about initiatives on the environment that he sponsored when he served in the State Assembly before he won a spot in the State Senate recently. He also offered suggestions for helping to improve environmental and sustainability education in the schools.

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Teachers! Check Out the New Green Design Lab Website

gdl_blogThe Solar One Education team is excited to launch our new, enhanced website, thegreendesignlab.org!

The new website is easy to navigate and offers new features for registering for our Professional Development Workshops, the Green Design Lab Energy Challenge, and a host of resources for our Sustainable Schools Network members!

Since its inception 6 years ago, the Green Design Lab has grown to reach teachers and students in over 400 schools. During this time, Solar One Educators have provided professional development training for teachers on our hands-on curriculum, in-class programming for students, and support for energy reduction and school sustainability projects. With the development and growth of the Green Design Lab Sustainable Schools Network (SSN), Solar One Educators have reached teachers across the United States.

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Tap Vs. Bottled: Can You Tell the Difference?

One of the simplest “green” lifestyle changes is to give up buying bottled water. Americans used 50 million single-use water bottles last year, and we have dismal national recycling rate of only 23%. Cutting them out of your life and budget makes good economic and environmental sense, and many bottled waters are actually tap water in a fancy package and nothing more. So is there really a difference between bottled and tap water- a difference you can actually taste?

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