At first, the class was like any other at Georgia’s Quitman County School District. Kids sat at desks while an adult lectured. Despite appearances, this was no ordinary lecture. Schneider Electric organized STEM activities for the kids in this Quitman County high school class. These activities are part of Quitman County’s energy performance contract with Schneider Electric and are designed to engage students in a STEM-inspired engineering shadowing program focused on energy conservation.
Transitioning to eco-friendly propane school buses may help districts save money and safeguard student health. A propane bus costs about $15,000 more than a diesel vehicle, but is less expensive to operate and maintain.
Community helped design Hampton Bays Middle School, which opened in 2008, on Long Island in New York. The LEED-certified building can be used for town hall meetings and adult learning classes, and offers a community garden.
Using a survey tool, biology students in 13 Maryland high schools help environmental scientists keep an eye on pollution and other factors that might harm Chesapeake Bay or its creatures, including Maryland’s renowned blue crabs.
Miami-Dade County’s BioTECH @ Richmond Heights—a conservation-biology-focused STEM high school that opened in 2014-15 with help from an $11 million federal grant—focuses on zoology, botany, genetics, ecology, chemistry and environmental sciences.
Students will likely choose healthier meals if provided with more comfortable places to eat. Modern lighting and food-court style designs can draw students to dining areas while school gardens can provide learning experiences and also supply cafeterias with fresh, less expensive produce.
The health risk posed by products with potential carcinogens that pushed Columbia Public Schools in Missouri to adopt simpler, more cost-effective—and ultimately greener—methods. Yet, most district leaders say removing all chemicals is nearly impossible.
Lighting is often the overlooked energy hog in the room—accounting for 26 percent of the energy used in a typical school. Retrofitting lighting can reduce that by as much as 50 percent, and it's is often simpler and less expensive than upgrading HVAC systems, producing a quick return on investment.