Monday, April 22, 2013

EARTH DAY ACTS OF GREEN AT OWEN J. ROBERTS

Green practices have been a focus of the Owen J. Roberts School District this year with the District establishing a variety of energy conservation measures and building efficiency programs. On November 14, 2012, student representatives from all OJR schools participated in an event which marked the official capturing of solar energy by the 525 kW solar photovoltaic array installed at the High School & Middle School – more than 2,200 solar panels mounted on building rooftops! Since that time, students have continued to support green efforts with their own unique work and exceptional projects.

Gavin Brown, Audrey Farnham, and Sam Smith, 6th grade students from French Creek Elementary School, were recently awarded 2nd place for 6th grade in the state of Pennsylvania for the U.S. Army eCybermission Challenge, a web-based, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) competition. This group of French Creek students aptly applied what they have learned in the classroom to a real-life problem in their community by developing a plan to help students remember to close the exterior doors when entering and exiting the building as a group.  Students learned about a simple way they can take responsibility to help reduce energy costs and keep their school a safe place to learn and play. The students acquired and put to use a variety of technology, research, and communication skills to effectively carry out their plan. 

Another award winning group of students are the Owen J. Roberts High School Animal Studies Club, which ranked as a “top 5 high school finalist” for the Philadelphia Zoo’s UNLESS Contest 2013 competing against schools from Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The grand prize winner will be announced on May 29. The UNLESS contest project involved multiple forms of energy conservation and community outreach. Students focused on digital, print, and interpersonal outreach and included classroom frogs as method for directly connecting people to the animals endangered by energy consumption. Club members procured a recycling bin and successfully encouraged animal studies students to stop putting recyclables in the trash. Next, the club designed a pledge poster where students and staff could pledge to do something that would help save wildlife. Students secured over 90 signatures from people pledging to make changes to help conserve energy and save wildlife. Club members also wrote letters to encourage local businesses to adopt environmentally friendly procedures. The sale of reusable water bottles funded the ability to grow lettuce to feed classroom animals, secure a rain water barrel, and also serve as a way for students to encourage others to cut back on the waste they create every day in the form of disposable beverage containers.

 A new link on www.ojrsd.com features a real-time look at the Owen J. Roberts sustainable energy project. Check the green@ojr link for info-graphics which represent an estimated environmental impact of the solar project. An estimated 30% of the energy needs on Owen J. Roberts’ main campus are being generated with solar.
 
Congratulations to our hard working students for their green efforts! It is hoped that district renewable energy and energy conservation efforts—especially those of students—will help the greater community reduce its carbon footprint and inspire even more green practices.

Chief of Security and Safety Mr. Larry Mauger and teacher Mrs. Jessica Stone review the eCybermission project with students.

Logo developed by the Animal Studies Club.

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