October 19, 2009

Whitehouse Tours Local Schools to Learn About Efforts to Increase Energy Efficiency

Scituate, RI – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) last week visited Scituate and Ponaganset High Schools to observe initiatives at each school aimed at increasing environmental awareness and training students for environmental jobs.

“I’m glad to see these Rhode Island schools leading the way in energy efficiency projects and environmental awareness,” said Whitehouse, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) committee. “I hope these measures will serve as an example to other schools and organizations in Rhode Island and across the country.”

In 2008 Scituate High School received a $14,985 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant for a project that trains teachers and students to use state of the art mapping technologies. Scituate students are learning to use both global positioning systems and geological information systems for mapping a variety of environmental parameters in the community, including invasive species, nonpoint pollution sources, water quality monitoring stations, and threats to our natural resources.

At Ponaganset High School, Whitehouse learned about a variety of ongoing energy efficiency projects. The school this year received a $984,000 federal grant for their Alternative Energy Lab and Biomass Facilities Project. This federal funding is helping the school design, build, and equip a state of the art Energy Lab that will be a dedicated projects-based learning environment for the students and will include electric vehicle, fuel cell, bio-diesel, biomass, solar, wind, and other leading-edge energy technology projects. The school has been giving students hands-on lessons in utilizing fuel cells since 2001, when they began the Fuel Cell Education Initiative.


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