Energize, investigate, and innovate through NPPD’s GreenSchools teacher workshop Nov. 14 in Kearney

October 23, 2013

Columbus, Neb. – Three key words best describe the GreenSchools program – energize, investigate and innovate.

And those three words will be the focus when the Nebraska Public Power District, along with ESU 10, hosts a free, teacher’s workshop to introduce the GreenSchools program. The workshop runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  at the ESU 10 Office, 75 Plaza Boulevard, in Kearney, November 14. Registration includes lunch and lodging, if needed.

Deadline for registration is Friday, November 8. To register for this workshop, go to https://odie.esu10.org/workshops.

The GreenSchools program is an environmental-focused program for students from kindergarten through the twelfth grade. The program encourages students to take personal responsibility for improving the quality of their school, home and community environment.

Guest presenters will include professionals from Nebraska Public Power District, Nebraska Forest Service, Keep Nebraska Beautiful, and the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality.

The GreenSchools program consist of five, student-led investigations designed to be carried out in the school setting, but also includes elements where students can apply what they are learning in their homes. Students are trained to use diagnostic tools to assess energy usage in their school; thus, the school building becomes a learning lab for students. This program helps improve students’ academic performance in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), and it assists students in developing critical thinking skills and growing as leaders.

 Investigations include:

  • Energy – how much energy a school uses and the main sources of that energy, and ways to implement energy-saving strategies;
  • Water – source, cost and quality of a school’s water supply and ways to enhance current water conservation practices;
  • School Site - natural habitats, wildlife, trees, grounds maintenance practices and ways to make improvements to a school site;
  • Environmental Quality - improvements to indoor air quality, transportation, and chemical use; and
  • Waste and Recycling – how much waste a school generates and where it goes, as well as ways to recycle and compost waste.                          

NPPD supports the program by providing educational resources, teacher professional development, and classroom activities. One of the key components of GreenSchools is an investigative tool kit, which NPPD loans out to schools. It contains light and watt meters, an infrared temperature gauge, a CO2 meter, a conservation flow meter bag, and other associated equipment used to conduct the investigations.

School investigations may be done by one class or a team consisting of multiple classes and grade levels. Based upon results from the investigations, schools will develop action plans focused on reducing energy usage at the school, increasing the school’s energy efficiency and improving environmental quality.

To learn more about the GreenSchools program or the Kearney workshop, visit www.nppd.com/greenschools or contact NPPD Energy Educator Jennifer Swerczek at 402-336-2701 or by e-mail at jlswerc@nppd.com .

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