Tag Archives: Nebraska Solar Schools

Summer Fun for All Ages: A Booklet of Sun & Wind Activities

Sun & Wind Activities For You & Your Family

From Nebraska Solar Schools
A Nebraskans for Solar Program

This little booklet was available at Nebraska Solar Schools’ table during 2019 Earth Day events sponsored by various organizations, and Nature Nights at Omaha-area schools organized and hosted by Austen Hill, Education Director at the Papio-Missouri River NRD. A slightly-revised version, with a link to a PBS video demonstrating how to make a solar cooker and s’mores, is now available for download here.

Lego builds its way to 100% renewables – with its own pieces

Smart Energy International

The company’s transition was originally expected to be reached by 2022, but it became possible to complete the transition sooner, thanks to the completion of a 258MW offshore wind farm in the Irish Sea. Lego has 42 offices around the world, and remains a major influence in culture across generations. Read more here.

RE100: Lego became a member in May 2017. RE100 is a global corporate leadership initiative bringing together leading companies committed to 100% renewable electricity.

Lego Wind Turbine Kit Developed in Partnership With Vestas 

In 2018 Lego “released a fully-functional Lego wind turbine playset, “which allows budding engineers a chance to see the technology in effect, rather than theory.” The Lego bricks are made from a plant-based material sourced from sugarcane. Lego’s ultimate goal is to produce all their products and packaging with sustainable materials by 2030.


Also Of Potential Interest to Teachers

Lego is now on DonorsChoose.org, a non-profit organization that connects public school classrooms with the community to help fund student learning. Find out more about posting your classroom project to DonorsChoose.org and raising funds to benefit your classroom.

Lego’s List of Popular Educational Grant Providers

Nebraska Solar Schools Grant

Nebraska Solar Schools, a Nebraskans for Solar program, is offering 100 NEED Solar Energy Kits to up to 100 Nebraska public and non-public schools. The kits provide K-12 teachers a convenient and fun way to incorporate more solar energy education into their Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) programs.

Teacher and student curriculum guides are available for free download and review at the following links, as well as descriptions of each grade-level solar kit:

The Sun and Its Energy: Grades K-2
Wonders of the Sun: Grades 3-5
Energy from the Sun: Grades 6-8
Exploring Photovoltaics: Grades 9-12

Click here to learn more.

Nebraska Solar Schools Update

 

Nebraska Solar Schools, a Nebraskans for Solar program, has launched a new pilot project made possible by a Nebraska Environmental Trust grant: 100 NEED Solar Energy Kits for 100 Nebraska Schools. So far, schools in the following communities have requested the free NEED (National Energy Education Development) Solar Energy Kits: Ainsworth, Ashland-Greenwood, Bellevue, Gothenburg, Lincoln, Omaha, and Sargent. These kits have been sent via UPS. Nebraska school administrators, teachers, and after-school program directors are invited to apply for a kit.

To learn more and download the one-page form, Request A Solar Kit, please visit: www.nebraskasolarschools.org.

Recommended Reading
Nebraska Solar Schools Awarded $31,250, Rapid City Journal
What happens when schools go solar? Stanford Earth Matters Magazine

Job growth foreseen in Madison County and Northeast Nebraska

By Nick Gebhart, Norfolk Daily News

In terms of specific occupations, among the fastest growing is in wind energy. The number of wind turbine technicians who will be employed in the region is expected to climb by more than 100, up 84 percent from 2016. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Bluestem Energy Solutions

Additional Recommended Reading

  • Helping your home stay cool: Contributed article written by Pat Feist, Beatrice Electric Superintendent, Beatrice Daily Sun
  • Nebraska Solar Schools Awarded $31,250, Rapid City Journal
    Nebraska Solar Schools has announced that it has been awarded $31,250 from the Nebraska Environmental Trust for a pilot project within its Solar Energy Education and Development Program: 100 Solar Energy Kits for 100 Nebraska Schools. Nebraska Solar Schools is a program of the nonprofit Nebraskans for Solar.  To request a NEED Solar Energy Kit, visit: www.nebraskasolarschools.org.

Nebraska uniquely positioned

By David Bracht, West Point native and director of the
Nebraska Energy Office from 2015-2018, Norfolk Daily News

OMAHA — Clean and affordable wind energy is powering homes and fueling economic growth. In 2018, no other state grew its wind energy capacity faster than Nebraska, and in 2019 no state is better positioned than Nebraska to reap the benefits associated with this important renewable energy resource. In past generations, states with significant fossil fuel resources — namely coal and oil —could count on jobs, tax revenue, and opportunity as those resources were developed. While not devoid of traditional energy resources, Nebraska has never topped the list of fossil fuel states. But we are at the top when it comes to wind — and that has major positive implications for our future. Continue reading here.

MORE NEBRASKA NEWS

UNIVERSITY NEWS

NU’s Engineers Without Borders clean up club’s adopted Lincoln stream, by Faith Idachaba, The Daily Nebraskan. The students at the University of Nebraska system focus on solar panel installation in Madagascar and a bridge project in Zambia, according to chapter president and senior civil engineering major Capri Keeler. Domestically, EWB-NU adopted a stream in October 2013 through the Nebraska Wildlife Federation Adopt a Stream program. The program is designed to educate Nebraskans about conservation, according to its official website.

SOLAR SCHOOLS

  • Kearney, Lexington, Loup City helping spearhead solar schools project, The Kearney Hub
    OMAHA — Nebraska Solar Schools has been awarded $31,250 from the Nebraska Environmental Trust for a pilot project within its Solar Energy Education and Development Program: 100 Solar Energy Kits for 100 Nebraska Schools. The focus of the new pilot project is on K-12 schools in Nebraska towns and cities that have developed or plan to develop solar projects, including rooftop solar, solar farms or other installations. 
  • Moving Ahead on Minnesota Clean Energy Legislation, Union of Concerned Scientists
    Championed by Rep. Jean Wagenius and other legislative leaders, the House legislation would create the Solar For Schools Program and appropriate $16 million from the state’s renewable development funds to install solar at schools (the Senate version includes funding for this program, although at a much lower level).
  • Solar schools: Stanford research examines overlooked benefits of solar panels on U.S. campuses. Rooftop solar projects at schools could reduce harmful air pollution, help the environment and enhance student learning while cutting electricity costs, a new study finds. Overall, the energy switch could deliver benefits valued at $4 billion.

RENEWABLE ENERGY AGGREGATION

In Texas, aggregating public demand is pushing renewables to ‘record low prices’, Utility Dive
The Texas Renewable Energy Co-op (TREC) has received multiple bids for wholesale electricity below its $0.03/kWh target on 12-year contracts, according to the state-selected facilitator tapped to develop a new procurement option for municipal entities, school districts, utility districts, water authorities, state agencies and universities.

BATTERIES 

Green Mountain Power pilots Tesla batteries as meters, Utility Dive

Curriculum helps keep Illinois educators up to date on state’s evolving smart grid

Written by David Thill, Energy News Network

Illinois State University’s Smart Grid for Schools program began in 2014, funded by the Illinois Science and Energy Innovation Foundation. (ISEIF also funds Energy News Network reporting on Illinois’ smart grid.) Last year the program reached more than 16,000 students at 73 schools. It’s one of several programs trying to help teachers keep up with changes to the nation’s electric system.

The university offers teachers $200 to attend an evening of training, along with additional stipends if they help introduce the curriculum to other teachers, students and parents. The program covers concepts like smart meters, distributed generation, the use of sensors to measure grid load more precisely, and two-way communication between consumers’ devices and utilities. It’s also an introduction for many to concepts like demand response and hourly pricing. Read more here.

Photo by David Thill / Energy News Network

Published By The Kearney Hub
Kearney, Lexington, Loup City helping spearhead solar schools project

Nebraska K-12 Teachers: Request A Free NEED Solar Kit Here: www.nebraskasolarschools.org 

Much hotter conditions, more extreme weather await Nebraska, northern Plains, scientists say

By Nancy Gaarder, Omaha World-Herald

A much warmer future awaits the next generation of Nebraskans as a result of climate change, according to state and federal scientists. The state also is expected to see more rain and snow, but the additional moisture may not be enough to counteract the stress of a warming world on agriculture, they said. Additionally, the region is likely to see an increase in wintertime rain and ice. Last week, two climate scientists discussed some of the impacts during a briefing on the National Climate Assessment, published last fall. Continue reading here.

Upcoming Nebraska Events – Free & Open To The Public 

Nebraska Climate Summit: A One-Day Session On Climate & Climate Change. March 21, 8:30 am – 5:00 pm at the Nebraska Innovation Campus, 2021 Transformation Drive in Lincoln. Martha Shulski, director of the state climate office based at the School of Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Tyler Williams, Nebraska Extension climatologist, as well as partners across the university and state will lead the one-day information session on climate and climate change. Registration capped at 350. Lunch provided. Register for the event here.

Nebraska Solar Schools Earth Month Event
Save the Date! Our speaker will be Mary DeMocker, author of The Parents’ Guide To Climate Revolution: 100 Ways to Build a Fossil-Free Future, Raise Empowered Kids, and Still Get a Good Night’s Sleep. April 11, 2019, UNO’s Thompson Center, 6705 Dodge Street, Omaha. RSVP & parking permit required. Download flyer here for additional details.

Also written by Nancy Gaarder
11 easy steps to going green and having fun in the process, Omaha World-Herald

Solar on schools advances with open source contracting

By William Driscoll, PV Magazine

With every new solar-on-schools contract more people learn how it’s done, share what they know, and make it easier for neighboring school districts to follow the same path. U.S. schools could host up to 30 gigawatts of solar. Read the entire article here.

Image Credit: Arlington Public Schools: Rooftop solar on an Arlington, Virginia school.

ALSO IN THE NEWS
A 13-year-old won $25,000 for a solar-panel invention that can locate the sun at any time, Business Insider

Georgia Hutchinson, from Woodside, California, took the top prize at the Broadcom Masters nationwide STEM competition for middle-school students. She is working on patenting her invention.
Photo Credit: Society for Science and the Public

SOLAR SCHOOLS RESOURCES

Generation 180

  • Brighter Future: A Study on Solar in U.S. Schools, written by The Solar Foundation, Generation 180 and Solar Energy Industries Association
  • Let’s Go Solar:
    School Toolkit
    Champion Toolkit
  • National Resources
  • State Resources Include Nebraska Solar Schools

April is National Poetry Month – Create Sun & Other Nature Haikus for Earth Day Events!

Haiku 俳句 is a form of Japanese poetry often inspired by nature. Haiku poems traditionally consist of 17 syllables on 3 lines. The first and last lines have 5 syllables each and the middle line has 7 syllables. One way to start a haiku is to brainstorm ideas and words related to an experience or moment of beauty.

Haiku Starter – Download & Create!

Bring your poems to the Earth Day events where Nebraskans for Solar and Nebraska Solar Schools will sponsor a table, and our volunteers will post them on a large display board for others to enjoy. Illustrate your poems with paints, magic markers or a photograph, for example, if you want. Click here to read about all our Earth Day activities.
Photo Link

Additional Resources for All Ages
K-12 STEAM Projects & Activities
Climate Change Projects and Activities

Solar Power is Heating Up at Schools Nationwide

By Tish Tablan, National Organizer, Generation 180

More and more schools are taking advantage of their large roofs and open spaces to generate clean power and save money. Solar schools are creating a brighter future by spreading energy awareness to students, parents, and the community.

Generation 180 has recently launched some exciting initiatives to empower schools nationwide to take advantage of all the benefits of solar energy.

  • We’ve just launched our nationwide Solar Schools campaign, which aims to help schools go solar with greater confidence and success.
  • We’ve partnered with The Solar Foundation and the Solar Energy Industries Association  to produce the 2017 Brighter Future: A Study on Solar in US Schools.  This report provides the most comprehensive inventory of solar schools across America and shares the successful approaches of schools transitioning to solar power
  • In addition to the report, Generation 180 offers how-to resources to empower stakeholders to become solar champions who can effectively advocate for solar schools in their own communities.

You Can Help Schools Go Solar

You can help make a brighter future possible. Generation 180 is forming teams of volunteers throughout the country to rally local support from educators, district leaders and community members and providing resources to assist schools in going solar. Contact us to learn about starting a volunteer team in your community. Learn about volunteer teams.

  • Generation 180 is a non-profit committed to advancing the transition to clean energy and supporting a cultural shift in energy awareness through original, engaging content, digitally-enabled campaigns, and an empowered volunteer network.
  • Questions? Contact National Organizer Tish Tabian: tish@generation180.org
  • U.S. Solar Schools Map
  • Nebraska Solar Schools, founded by Nebraskans for Solar and statewide partners, is a program  that provides K-12 educators with resources and tools for incorporating renewable energy education into their classrooms and schools. The resources support Nebraska and national science standards. The program is offered to public and non-public schools, as well as places like schools such as children’s museums, zoos, nature preserves and science and technology centers.