BPA Science and Energy Education Grant recipients, 2014/2015
Dufur School, Dufur, Oregon. $2,000 to fund the “Dufur Ranger Energy Generation Challenge.” Funds for students at this small rural school to conduct a four-month study of different sources of renewable energy. Students will construct, test and modify models of hydroelectric, wind turbine and solar fuel cells; they will analyze the data from each and conduct comparisons, and then will share the results of their studies with the community at a “Family Night at the Lab” event.
Ukiah School District, Ukiah, Oregon. $1,891 for “Energy and Engineering STEM Program.” to purchase equipment and supplies to use in a new Energy and Engineering STEM class at this K-12 school of 50 students. The class will be offered in the fall for older students, and the materials will also be used to augment general science classes for younger students, and by local 4-H science clubs for summer programs. Science teachers will use blogs to share information on the development of the course with other teachers in the area. The materials will be reused each year, providing a long-lasting impact to this school.
Montana Outdoor Science School, Bozeman, Montana. $5,000 to fund “Sustainable Energy,” a six week unit for middle school students in western Montana. Kids will develop their research and science skills as they test and optimize solar cells, design and test hydroelectric turbines and generators, and compare and contrast our current energy sources and usage. The final product will be a sustainability plan for their school, home or classroom to lower their energy use.
Olympia School District, Olympia Wash. $3,500 to support “Pathways to a Clean Energy Future through Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.” This program targets sixth graders in the accelerated math and science program, teaching them about the technological, social and environmental realities of energy demand and generation in the Pacific Northwest, as well as the benefits and challenges of energy conservation and efficiency at school and at home. The program also funds students in six middle schools to participate in the EPA’s Battle of the Buildings competition, reaching more than 1,800 elementary, middle and high school students in seven schools throughout the district.
Sustainable Living Center, Walla Walla, Wash. $4,362 to fund “Energy Explorers Make a Splash!” a project that will turn fifth graders in the Walla Walla Public Schools Highly Capable Learners program into energy instructors. They will get a series of eight weekly lessons outside of their regular classroom time on hydroelectricity, wind, solar, gas and nuclear energy, the future of energy generation, and challenges with energy production in our region. Next, they will share their knowledge by leading small group learning sessions for the rest of the district’s fifth grade students at an annual two-day educational event called Make a Splash, held at Walla Walla Community College in the spring.
White Salmon Valley Education Foundation, $3,300 to fund “Climate Change and Hydropower in the Pacific Northwest.” This program will help students master science education standards by exploring the relationship between climate change and hydropower in the Northwest. The curriculum will be designed for high school students and will include 10 in-class lesssons, three field trips and training for the high school students to teach core concepts of the curriculum to students in fourth and seventh grade. The curriculum will also include elements for second language learners and those with special education needs, and is expected to be in place for at least four academic years for students in Skamania and Klickitat Counties, Washington.