Environment science non-profit “e” inc. has received a $56,717 grant from NSTAR to continue and expand the successful “Kids Green Their Schools” (KGTS) Program for Boston area public schools. Created by “e” inc., the KGTS Program is a dynamic, pilot-tested, experiential program for K-8 schools looking to boost their existing science involvements while also going green. Schools in Cambridge, Dorchester, Roxbury, Mattapan, Somerville, and Brighton will continue or launch the program this year.
The KGTS Program is based on the idea that young people can play an active role in helping their schools become sustainable (aka green) by leading the charge toward conservation.
“e” inc. designs all of the KGTS curricula, which are structured to ensure that students gain measureable science knowledge (as documented by increases in science test performance of 30 to 60 percent). In each of three courses – (1) Water as a Resource, (2) Rethinking Energy, and (3) The Zero Waste Planet – students become conservation leaders as they take concrete, measurable actions that reduce their schools’ environmental impact. Students learn fascinating, standards-based science while their schools conserve resources and save money.
At every site, the program is “in residence,” so that one educator is stationed at each school for either six or twelve weeks depending on the school’s size. The sessions sponsored by NSTAR will feature six hands-on lessons on energy conservation, including:
(1) What is energy and how does it originate from the sun?
(2) What are a fossil, a fuel, and a fossil fuel?
(3) What is electricity — how do we generate it and how does it get to your home?
(4) What are climate change and the greenhouse effect and how does your school use energy?
(5) What are renewable energy sources and how do they work?
(6) Lastly, the students brainstorm what they have learned, and powered by their new knowledge, plan and practice a three-part electricity conservation process for their classroom that is repeated by students throughout their building to help the site save energy.
According to Dr. Ricky S. Stern, Executive Director of “e” inc., “Our science programs are unique because knowledge is paired with action. Students took pride in what they were doing, made a truly strong attachment to their “e” inc. teachers, had a great time participating in the lessons, and understood the important issues at stake. Many principals took the idea of added sustainability to heart and were pleased with the conservation efforts and their results. We are grateful for NSTAR’s ongoing support of the KGTS Program, and we look forward to expanding this important enviro-science initiative.”
In 2013-14, through the KGTS Program, “e” inc. will teach a total of 200 separate classrooms and will have direct ongoing involvement with approximately 4,000 children. The full 2013-14 program will be taught in twelve Greater Boston schools, seven of which are sponsored by NSTAR, with two additional schools focused on water conservation, and three schools focused on zero waste programs. The latter sites are supported by the Mass Cultural Council and other sources.
About “e” inc.
“e” inc. is an award-winning environment science learning and action center that provides in-depth science and community involvement to 4,500 urban youth in Metro Boston. Its mission is to create a new generation of conservation citizens committed to understanding and protecting the environment. Through educational science programs and actual civic involvements, “e” inc. provides children, teens, and adults with a scientific understanding of the Earth’s natural resources, biomes, systems, and beings along with the skills needed to protect the planet and live sustainably. For more information, please visit www.e-action.us.