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NYSERDA Recognizes 15 Creative Climate Change Projects that Encourage Student Learning about Energy Issues

$500 Awards Help Cover Supplies for Hands-On Activities and Community Education Events at Schools Across NY

January 13, 2011

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has recognized 15 Climate Change Projects developed by K-12 teachers across the state for their creativity and their potential for increasing students’ knowledge about energy issues and global climate change.

Projects include building a working wind farm, designing a small-scale hydroelectric system, educating the community about solar power, and writing and presenting a puppet play about global warming. Teachers will receive $500 to help implement the projects, which involve learning in science, technology, fine arts, library skills, physics and/or family and consumer science.

Award winners are from the following communities (See descriptions of individual projects at end of press release.) :

  • Western NY: East Aurora
  • Syracuse/Central NY: Pavilion, Pulaski, Milford, Georgetown
  • Capital Region: Schenectady, Albany, Northville
  • Hudson Valley: Chestnut Ridge, Middletown, Central Valley
  • New York City: Queens Village, Rego Park, Brooklyn
  • Binghamton/Southern Tier: Grand Gorge

“Building an energy-literate society is important at all ages,” said NYSERDA President and CEO Francis J. Murray. “We want to prime the pipeline for green jobs and responsible energy use while supporting literacy in science, technology, engineering and math for all students.”

Awards were made to K-12 teachers based on creativity in discussing climate change and the extent to which projects help students take a leadership role in school and community efforts. Extra points were awarded to schools with greater than 50 percent of students receiving free or reduced-price lunch and for projects adopting a multi-disciplinary approach involving two or more subject areas.

Funds can be used to purchase supplies or equipment for use in hands-on activities related to energy efficiency or for community education events.

Awards were available for educators at schools located in communities served by one of New York’s investor-owned utilities: Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation; Consolidated Edison of New York, Inc.; National Grid; New York State Electric & Gas Corporation; Rochester Gas & Electric Corporation; and Orange & Rockland Utilities, Inc.

2010 Climate Change Projects receiving awards:

Western New York

East Aurora (Erie County): “Immaculate Conception Wind Farm 2011.” Second and third grade students at Immaculate Conception School will build a working wind farm and measure its output. Teacher: Mary Jane Liszewski

Syracuse/Central New York

Georgetown (Madison County): “Kids in Action: OV Conserves Energy.” Fifth grade students at Otselic Valley Elementary to research global warming and incorporate their findings into puppet plays that they will write and present to grades K-6. Teacher: Julie Hammer

Milford (Otsego County): “Designing and Constructing a Micro Hydroelectric Model.” High school students at Otsego Area Occupational Center will design small-scale working models of a micro hydroelectric system, which they will present to the public. Teacher: Jill Eichler

Pavilion (Genesee County): “Pavilion Community Climate Change and Renewable Energy Resources Project.” Expands Pavilion Central School’s solar electric system. Students across disciplines in grades 9-12 will be involved in a project that offsets some of the need for fossil-fuel-generated electricity for lights by a photovoltaic (PV) system. Teacher: Doug Hollinger

Pulaski (Oswego County): “Off Grid.” Fifth grade students at Lura Sharp Elementary will decrease their classroom consumption of fossil fuels by creating their own energy through the use of solar panels. Teacher: Brad DePoint

Capital Region

Albany: “Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs: History, Energy Efficiency and Education.” Seventh graders at Hackett Middle School will research the history of the light bulb and present what they have learned, along with compact fluorescent light bulbs, to the adults in their community. Teacher: Linda Carey

Albany: “Composting.” Fifth graders at Thomas O’Brien Academy of Science and Technology will set up a composting program that will allow the school to become more self-sufficient. Teacher: Art Flynn

Northville (Fulton County): “Green Chicken.” Eleventh and twelfth grade students at Northville Central School will make a weekly community event “green” by reducing electricity and heating costs, decreasing garbage and increasing recyclable materials. Teacher: Sarah Webster

Schenectady: “The Carbon Footprint Challenge.” Seventh and eighth graders at Draper Middle School will design creative, effective action plans to reduce the energy consumption of a household appliance of their choice. Teacher: John Winters

Hudson Valley

Chestnut Ridge (Rockland County): “Change for Life—CFL.” Second graders at Fleetwood Elementary School will compare the difference in energy used between incandescent light bulbs and compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL)s and distribute CFLs to students and their families. Teacher: Elaine Damiano

Central Valley (Orange County): “Going Green Garden.” Monroe Woodbury High School technology students will create and design a community garden and grow produce and herbs for the Family and Consumer Science classes. Teacher: Eileen Garvey

New York City

Queens Village: “Energy Efficiency and Climate Change: What Can We Do?” Students in grades K-5 at The Winchester School (PS18Q) will provide kilowatt meters for the members of the Alternative Energy Club, enabling them to conduct energy audits in school and in their homes. Teacher: Alison Wolin

Brooklyn: “War on Waste.” Eighth graders at General D. Chappie James M.S. of Science K634 will design and implement a waste reduction and recycling program that will reduce non-recyclable student waste and building energy consumption. Teacher: Geoffrey T. Stanton

Rego Park (Queens County): “We Are Compost Heroes.” PS 174 students in grades K-6 will set up an outdoor composting bin at school to learn the environmental, civic and economic benefits of composting. Teacher: Susan Hammer

Binghamton/Southern Tier

Grand Gorge (Delaware County): “Constructing an Algae Bioreactor to Produce Biofuel.” High school students at Northern Catskills Occupational Center will determine the viability of growing algae to be used as biofuel versus using biodiesel in the Equipment Operation and Repair Program. Teacher: Jill Eichler


NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA professionals work to protect our environment and create clean-energy jobs. NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance innovative energy solutions in New York since 1975.

Last Updated: 01/22/2014