Elementary schools in Connecticut are being exposed to a ‘Power Up!’ educational program that has been produced by a green power supplier and a book publishing company.
HARTFORD, Connecticut – The program is produced by Green Mountain Energy and Scholastic Inc. Starting this month, 125,000 students will learn about energy conservation and the importance of using renewable sources of energy to generate electricity. In addition, students have an opportunity to win solar panels for their school through an essay contest. “We are always looking for innovative ways to help spread the message that making electricity is the number one cause of industrial air pollution,” says Thomas Rawls of GME. “We are excited to work with the local schools to help educate students about the benefits of renewable energy sources and the importance of conserving energy.” The program will be sent to 6,000 Connecticut teachers and provides standards-based lessons for incorporating math, science, technology and language arts while focusing on electric power, renewable energy resources, and energy conservation. It includes several interactive activities like making a solar oven from a pizza box and surveying electricity use within the school. The program also includes a component for students to take home and share with their families. “Scholastic is pleased to be working with Green Mountain Energy in developing educational materials designed not only to teach core curriculum but also to promote energy conservation,” says vice president Steve Palm. The program invites students in grades three to five to enter an essay contest to show what the class has learned during the program. Students write essays by completing the sentence: “The Earth benefits when people use solar power because … “. The grand prize for the winning class is the installation of a solar panel at their school as a way for the school to begin using a renewable resource to provide electricity. Ten runner-up classes will win a tree to be planted at their school in their honor. GME provides renewable energy to customers in California, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and has started to offer green power in Connecticut. During the last three years, the Texas company has commissioned five new renewable facilities, including one of the largest windfarms on the east coast. Scholastic is the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books. It operates in Argentina, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, The Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and the United Kingdom. Its U.S. website serves 1.5 million parents, teachers and children each month.