Tag Archives: STEM education

Facebook awards grants to Sarpy organizations

By Brody Hilgenkamp, Papillion Times /Omaha World-Herald

Facebook and the Papillion Data Center announced its Community Action Grant recipients to 13 organizations in Sarpy County. The grants were awarded to organizations that use technology for community benefit, connect people online or off or improve STEM education. Read more here.

Facebook’s Leadership on 100% Renewable Energy

RE100: Facebook is among 230 influential companies that have made a commitment to 100% renewable energy. Additionally, a growing number of RE100 members are working with their global supply chains to help them transition to renewable energy.

REBA: Facebook is also a member of the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA). REBA’s goal is to catalyze 60 gigawatts (GW) of new renewable energy by 2025, and expand the number of organizations buying clean power from dozens today to tens of thousands. REBA’s Vision

REBA Initiatives
Business Renewables Center
Renewable Energy Buyers Principles
Green Tariff Tracking
Future of Internet Power

Previously Posted

Interested in solar energy? Nebraska Public Power District can help make that interest a reality

NPPD News Release

Residents of Scottsbluff who are interested in having solar energy as part of their electricity options, now have the opportunity! The City of Scottsbluff, in cooperation and partnership with Nebraska Public Power District, will again offer community solar shares to their customers in Scottsbluff. A second community solar project is under construction in Scottsbluff, located near Landers Soccer Complex. The 4.375-megawatt solar farm, scheduled to go live this spring, will begin taking registration for shares from Scottsbluff residents and businesses on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020. The initial solar farm, located at NPPD’s Scottsbluff office, was well received and sold out immediately. Continue reading here.

More Nebraska News

Wayne State partners with UNL to offer dual-degree program, Kearney Hub
The goals of the partnership are to provide education platforms in resilient food, energy, water and societal systems in alignment with career opportunities, as well as prepare teachers and curriculum to respond to the increased need for agricultural science and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) educators.

Trinity to showcase STEM lab at event

By Tammy Real-McKeighan, Fremont Tribune

Could Reese Barton be a budding engineer? Only time will tell for the fourth-grader at Trinity Lutheran School in Fremont. But on Wednesday morning, Reese spoke enthusiastically while participating in the school’s new STEM lab, where renovations are underway.

Continue reading here.

Photo by Tammy Real-McKeighan


Nebraska Solar Schools’ NEED Solar Energy Kits Project (PDF)
Trinity Lutheran School in Fremont is one of many statewide K-12 schools now participating in Nebraska Solar Schools’ National Energy Education Development (NEED) project in which teachers and principals are provided free solar energy kits upon request and for as long as quantities last for their classrooms and after-school STEM programs, through a generous grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust. Solar beads, or UV Beads, mentioned in the article, is just one of many activities among the curriculum materials included in two of the NEED kits: The Sun and Its Energy for Grades K-2 and Wonders of the Sun for Grades 3-5.

How far and fast can OPPD push toward ‘zero carbon’ energy future? Study seeks answers, costs

By Aaron Sanderford, Omaha World-Herald

The Omaha Public Power District is studying how far it can push toward generating the region’s electricity without the carbon emissions that scientists say contribute to a changing climate.  The study’s findings could hold significance for the future of OPPD’s coal-fired plants, including its north Omaha power plant, which burns coal and natural gas, and its plant in Nebraska City, its largest that burns coal. It might also influence which types of power plants OPPD builds in the future, whether for addressing the power grid’s needs at peak usage times or for additional capacity, board members say. Read more here.

Previously Posted

Report puts $4.5 trillion price tag on grid decarbonization, American Public Power Association

Also In The News

LevelTen News

Nebraska Solar Schools, a program of the nonprofit Nebraskans for Solar, is one of the 117 projects awarded grants from the Nebraska Environmental Trust this year.

Nebraskans for Solar News Release 

LINCOLN (April 23, 2019) — Nebraska Solar Schools announced today that it has been awarded a grant from the Nebraska Environmental Trust for $31,250 to fund 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. The project is one of the 117 projects receiving $19,501,444 in grant awards from the Nebraska Environmental Trust this year.

The purpose of Nebraska Solar Schools’ Solar Energy Education & Development Program is to provide resources for K-12 teachers to facilitate integration of more solar energy education into their classrooms or after-school programs. Resources are also provided for those who want to install a photovoltaic (PV) system at their school.

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. Solar communities provide educational opportunities such as classroom presentations and workshops, field trips and project development in collaboration with solar experts at local utilities, solar businesses, and community colleges that offer renewable energy training programs, for example.

The cities and towns in the pilot project’s focus group include but are not limited to: Ainsworth, Aurora, Central City, Chadron, Fremont, Gothenburg, Grand Island, Hastings, Hemingford, Kearney, Lexington, Lincoln, Loup City, Norfolk, Omaha/Fort Calhoun, O’Neill, Pawnee City, Schuyler, Scottsbluff, South Sioux City, Superior, Venango/Grant and York.

The National Energy Education Development (NEED) Solar Energy Kits’ cross-discipline lesson plans, projects, and activities support Nebraska Science Standards. The four grade-level kits contain all the materials needed for completing each unit, providing an easier and less time-consuming way for teachers to integrate renewable energy education into their curriculum planning. Almost all the materials in the kits are reusable, making them cost-effective.

The Nebraska Legislature created the Nebraska Environmental Trust in 1992. Using revenue from the Nebraska Lottery, the Trust has provided over $305 million in grants to over 2,200 projects across the state. Anyone – citizens, organizations, communities, farmers and businesses – can apply for funding to protect habitat, improve water quality and establish recycling programs in Nebraska. The Nebraska Environmental Trust works to preserve, protect and restore our natural resources for future generations.

The Nebraska Environmental Trust is funded by proceeds from the Nebraska lottery and has awarded more than $305 million to over 2,200 conservation projects across the state of Nebraska since 1994. Nebraska Solar Schools’ new pilot project would not be possible without Trust funding.

Contact: Helen Deffenbacher, Nebraska Solar Schools Facilitator
Email: HelenDeffenbacher@NebraskaSolarSchools.Org

Thank you to the following newspapers for publishing the news release:

Nebraska Solar Schools Initiative


Solar & wind hybrid installation at a Ravenna, Nebraska public school, funded by a private grant. Photo: Pika Energy

Solar & wind hybrid installation at a Ravenna, Nebraska public school, funded by a private grant. Photo: Pika Energy

On October 10th representatives from a number of
statewide organizations will gather at a retreat to begin organizing a Nebraska Solar Schools Initiative. Current participants include: K-12 science teachers and division directors; university and community college energy science professors and instructors; government leaders; and representatives from all three major utility companies. Several representatives have been involved in the Wind Schools Working Group and will bring their valuable experience to the new initiative. A future objective will be to invite many more participants.

The initiative’s current primary focus areas are to develop a K-12 Solar Schools Curriculum that meets state science requirements and utilizes a cross-disciplinary approach and, secondly, to create grants and solar projects databases as companions to the curriculum. The grants database will enable schools and places like schools to apply for funds to local and national foundations and government agencies. Grant requests might include funds to purchase classroom solar energy kits and other curriculum materials or to install a demonstration solar system, an option and not a requirement for schools participating in the initiative.

According to a census maintained by The Solar Foundation, there are over 3,700 solar schools in the United States. Nebraska lags behind other states, with only two solar and wind hybrid schools. The Nebraska Solar Schools Initiative seeks to add many more, providing our students and our communities with much-needed educational opportunities.

A proposal will be presented at the October 10th meeting stating that once current group participants complete their initial planning and organizing work, the initiative will then be opened up to all teachers, students, and the general public, and anyone who is interested will be encouraged to contribute to the curriculum and grants/solar projects databases. Helen Deffenbacher is Lead Coordinator of the initiative and the October retreat.