Free GreenSchools workshop offered by NPPD

March 4, 2014

Columbus, Neb. – In a free workshop, Nebraska educators, through the assistance of Nebraska Public Power District, can energize, investigate, and innovate their curriculum by learning more about GreenSchools, a growing national program. GreenSchools is an environmental-focused program for students from kindergarten through the twelfth grade, encouraging students to take personal responsibility for improving the quality of their school, home and community environment.

NPPD, along with ESU’s 1 and 8, is hosting the free workshop on Monday, March 24, and Tuesday, March 25 at its Norfolk Operations Center, 1200 South Chestnut Street, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Registration includes lunch, education resources, and field trips. Lodging may also be available, if needed.

Deadline for registration is Wednesday, March 19 and should be done by going to www.esu8.org.

Guest presenters will include professionals from the Nebraska Forest Service, Keep Nebraska Beautiful, Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, Nebraska Department of Education, and NPPD.

Workshop attendees will learn about the activities within the GreenSchools program. There are five, student-led investigations designed to be carried out in the school setting, which include elements where students can apply what they are learning in their home. 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 grow as leaders.

Investigations include:

Energy – how much energy a school uses, the main sources of that energy, and propose 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, containing 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 Norfolk 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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