Category Archives:

Education

Teachers! National Geographic Wants to Take You on the Adventure of a Lifetime

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Are you a K-12 teacher currently teaching in the US or Canada? Have you always wanted to visit places like Greenland, the Galapagos Islands, or even Antarctica? National Geographic is offering professional development opportunities just for you.

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Happy 158th Birthday, Nikola Tesla!

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When most Americans think of the early days of electricity, the first name that comes to mind is Thomas Edison. But the contributions of Nikola Tesla, the great Serbian-American inventor and scientist, who was younger than Edison and is not nearly as well-known, have done as much or more to shape the way we use electricity today. He developed and patented the AC induction motor and transformer and was an early proponent of wireless transmission technology, and a major player in the “war of currents” waged between Edison and George Westinghouse over which current, alternating or direct, would become the electric transmission standard. Using Tesla’s theories and patents, Westinghouse won, and we’re still using alternating current all over the US today.

The development of the electric grid and the battle between direct and alternating current marked the energy revolution of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Today a new energy revolution is gaining momentum, and you can learn more about that at the Clean EC website here.

Come See Us at City of Water Day on Governor’s Island on Saturday

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City of Water Day is an annual festival of free activities and events designed to get New Yorkers more comfortable and familiar with our extensive and beautiful waterfront. Presented by the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance and over 700 partners (including Solar One), the Festival will be held in waterfront locations throughout the area, with most happening at Governor’s Island and Maxwell Place Park in Hoboken, as well as Pier 42 where Lower East Side Ecology Center will be running a fishing clinic (catch-and-release only).


You can find more information about activities here. The Festival runs from 10am-4pm on Saturday July 12, and all activities are offered free of charge.

HSCTEA Students Receive Solar One Student Achievement Award

 
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On Monday, June 16th a kick-off celebration was held at Q650 – The High School for Construction Trades, Engineering and Architecture, to commemorate the installation of vacancy sensors (HSCTEA). This year, through Solar One’s Cleantech program, HSCTEA students had the opportunity to explore building performance and energy efficiency through a series of classroom activities and building audits.
 
Two HSCTEA 11th grade Engineering students, Ashaki Gumbs and Scander Garcia, went a step further, taking the data from the building audits to write a report, which outlined how upgrades to school lighting could save energy and lower the school’s carbon footprint. Their report was submitted to the DOE Division of Facilities Sustainability Office.
 
As a result, DSF funded a $95,000 vacancy sensors installation project in all classrooms and offices. The project was funded using revenue generated through DOE’s Demand Response Program, an initiative to curtail electric consumption during peak electric demand when utility grids are threatened by brownouts and blackouts.
 
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At Monday’s event DSF technical staff and contractors discussed the project with HSCTEA Principal, Lakeisha Gordon, and AP, Steven Wynn, and its impact on the school community. Solar One’s Sarah Pidgeon presented Gumbs and Garcia with the Solar One Student Achievement Award for outstanding work in energy efficiency and sustainability. These dedicated students look forward to participating in future sustainability efforts at HSCTEA and continuing their education in engineering.
 
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Congratulations to PS 126, First Place in the 2014 Energy Challenge

ps126Over a 4-month period from December to March, these five schools, as part of Solar One’s Green Design Lab program, combined saved 246,020 kilowatt-hours of electricity – enough to power 23 homes for one year*. As a result of their efforts, they avoided 374,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere**, the equivalent of burning 182,000 lbs of coal. As a prize for their success, each school will be awarded with $5,000.

PS 126 Academy of Technology in Manhattan came in first place with a whopping 33% reduction, and on Friday, May 9, Solar One presented them with their award.

The other schools in the top five are PS 256 Benjamin Banneker Elementary with a 23% reduction; MS 126 John Ericsson Middle School with a 22% reduction; Energy Tech High School and IS 204 Oliver W. Holmes with a 20% reduction; and PS 003 The Bedford Village School with an 18% reduction.

Over 70 schools competed in this year’s challenge, each bringing students, teachers and custodians together with the goal of school-wide electricity reduction. From shutting off lights to unplugging unused appliances, average energy savings ranged from 5 to 23 percent for most schools when compared to average electricity usage for the same period over the past two years. Interested in joining the Energy Challenge next school year? Contact Alex Smith at gdlssn[at]solar1[dot]org to find out how you can participate.

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Solar One at the National Science Teacher’s Association Conference

nstaLast week at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) annual conference In Boston, Solar One introduced the Green Design Lab National Network.  Through curriculum, technical support, online webinars and more the National Network will expand the reach of the Green Design Lab (GDL) program to schools beyond New York City public schools.  Hundreds of science teachers from across the country were introduced to the program and intrigued by the potential to incorporate hands on sustainability projects into their science units.

Despite presenting at the same time as Bill Nye the Science Guy, dozens of teachers came to the Solar One presentation to learn more about the program.  During the session, teachers engaged in activities and discussion that will help make their schools more sustainable.  The teachers enjoyed the opportunity to participate in hands-on activities. One teacher said, “It was the best thing I did at the conference all day.”  In addition to the presentation, hundreds of teachers came to visit the Solar One booth.  It was great to meet people from all over the country interested in incorporating sustainability into science education.  We hope the momentum will continue and GDL will empower sustainability education nationwide.

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