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Hydropower Flows Here
BPA offering grants in science and energy education
4/6/2015 12:00 AM
Students from East Valley Central School in Yakima, Washington took a field trip to the Cle Elum River to see sockeye spawn, and learn about the significance of their return after 100 years of extirpation. Students also toured Cle Elum Dam and viewed the improvements to the dam to allow for increased numbers of adult and juvenile salmon to pass through.
The Bonneville Power Administration is offering grants in science and energy education to nonprofit organizations, schools and others in support of work to educate students in grades K through 12 about the energy systems of the Pacific Northwest.
The goal of the program is to advance students’ understanding, awareness and interest in the issues and science involved in energy generation and transmission in the region.
Funded projects could focus on hydroelectricity, wind and other sources of electric power, methods of conserving electricity, studies of energy and environment, programs on engineering and technology skills relating to energy, and others. The intent of the grants is to support science, technology, engineering and math education with specific emphasis on electric-utility issues.
BPA anticipates making four to 10 grants ranging from $500 to $5,000.
The Science and Energy Education grants program, now in its fourth year, is one facet of a much larger education outreach program by BPA. It was designed to extend the reach of BPA’s education efforts by supporting the teachers and nonprofits working to advance energy education.
Recipients of the 2014-2015 BPA Science and Energy Education Grants included:
Dufur School, Dufur, Ore. – $2,000 to fund the “Dufur Ranger Energy Generation Challenge.”
Funds enabled students at this small rural school to conduct a four-month study of different sources of renewable energy, as well as construct, test and modify models of hydroelectric, wind turbine and solar fuel cells.
Ukiah School District, Ukiah, Ore. – $1,891 for “Energy and Engineering STEM Program.”
Funds assisted in the purchase of equipment and supplies for use in a new Energy and Engineering STEM class at this K-12 school of 50 students.
Montana Outdoor Science School, Bozeman, Mont. – $5,000 to fund “Sustainable Energy.”
Funds were used for a six-week unit for middle school students in western Montana. Students developed their research and science skills as they tested and optimized solar cells, designed and tested hydroelectric turbines and generators, and compared and contrasted current energy sources and usage.
Olympia School District, Olympia, Wash. – $3,500 to support “Pathways to a Clean Energy Future through Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.”
Funds were used with this program that 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.
Sustainable Living Center, Walla Walla, Wash. – $4,362 to support “Energy Explorers Make a Splash!”
The funds were used on a project that transformed fifth graders in the Walla Walla Public Schools Highly Capable Learners program into energy instructors. The students received a series of eight weekly lessons outside of regular classroom time on hydroelectricity, wind, solar, gas and nuclear energy, the future of energy generation, and challenges with energy production in our region.
White Salmon Valley (Wash.) Education Foundation – $3,300 to fund “Climate Change and Hydropower in the Pacific Northwest.”
The funds were leveraged with this program to help students master science education standards by exploring the relationship between climate change and hydropower in the Northwest. The curriculum, designed for high school students, included 10 in-class lessons, three field trips and training for those students to teach core concepts of the curriculum to students in fourth and seventh grade.
Funding can be awarded to school districts, government agencies and nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations. The recipients must be from, and funding used in, BPA service territory in Washington, Idaho, Oregon and parts of Montana, Nevada and Wyoming.
Applications for project funding are due May 8, and funding will be awarded in June for projects taking place over the 2015-2016 school year. For complete terms and instructions on completing a science and energy education grant proposal, please visit:
BPA’s education program provides free presentations and information to K-12 schools in our region to help students achieve energy literacy, and to support science, technology, engineering and math education. For information on BPA education programs, go to
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