Research Project Summary Information
Solar Sails New York - Expansion of Solar & Wind Energy Education for School Power Naturally (ST10978-1)
Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) had previously developed curricular units including Energy Thinking, Clean Green Power, and Wind Wisdom. These units provided the base from which NESEA designed Solar Sails NY. NESEA also previously designed teacher training kits for EnergyThinking that were sold in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. Finally, NESEA developed the hands-on classroom kits and 15 kit lessons currently used in School Power...Naturally.
Specific objectives included: 1) address the need of proficiency in the sciences and technology for both students and teachers by expanding the School Power...Naturally curriculum; 2) address professional development needs through expanded training opportunities for educators, trainers, paraprofessionals, and non-formal educators; 3) address interest in the existing School Power...Naturally solar energy kits and lessons through further kit development, low-cost distribution of 250 solar and 200 wind kits, and training in kit lessons; and, 4) address the interest in free and easily accessible curricula through the development of solar and wind energy online units that will be made available to teachers for take-home pieces for families and other groups engaged in energy education.
NESEA provided educator training workshops, distributed all of the solar and wind education kits, and developed two on-line wind curriculum units for grades Kindergarten-fourth and fifth-sixth now available on NYSERDA’s website www.SchoolPowerNaturally.org.
NESEA’s program aimed to expand energy education in New York State to address the educational needs of future generations so they are prepared to become proactive, responsible citizens.
More than 400 individuals and 225 institutions participated in one or both workshops; “A Solar Kit for the Classroom” and “Wind Wisdom for School Power…Naturally.” The majority of institutions were public schools, followed by private schools and environmental education centers. Most of these institutions were not one of the original fifty schools in School Power…Naturally that received a solar panel and data monitoring system from NYSERDA. Teachers attending workshops were divided fairly evenly between rural, suburban, and urban areas with only a slightly higher representation from urban areas. Based on their workshop evaluation forms, the educators responded that the most effective methods to reach them was forwarded email, followed by word of mouth and direct email.
The “Solar Kit for the Classroom” workshops were attended, in majority, by science teachers, followed by elementary teachers. The grades the teachers most represented were middle school (sixth through eighth grade), with high school followed by elementary school as close second and third, respectively.
NESEA worked with the New York State Outdoor Education Association, who provided a majority of the site hosts for the “Wind Wisdom School Power…Naturally” workshops. In these wind workshops, environmental educators had a strong showing, followed closely by elementary teachers and science teachers. The grade most represented was sixth, with a tie for second place between fourth, fifth and eighth grades.
50 Miles Street
Greenfield, MA 01301
Energy Power Supply
NYSERDA Contact Information
R&D - Environment & Energy Res