In recent years, many multinational companies have espoused “green and eco-friendly” as their marketing campaign slogan. These days, many people and companies are getting focused on improving the world around us, by means of recycling, going solar, bicycling, driving electric cars, and using resources wisely. Even the fireworks which were used in London Olympics were supposedly eco-friendly (or more eco-friendly).
Government agencies and many companies around the world are working hard to use resources wisely, and to create awareness among the public to purchase products that are eco-friendly and can be easily recycled. It’s our duty to pass on such knowledge to younger generations, and keep them well informed about the importance of sustainability.
Just recently I learned of one of the most creative and innovative projects yet when it comes to inspiring youth to learn more about sustainable design, renewable energy, and overall being “green.” This project came as a result of an initiative from the National Science Foundation, which awarded a whopping 1.08 million dollar grant to two incredible nonprofit groups: Solar One and MOUSE.
Both of these groups will be working with high school students at four different New York City schools, to teach them about various ways to improve their school buildings over the course of three years. The program will be known as ‘GreenTECH’, the perfect name for a project that will be so focused on technology and the environment at the same time. Using the expertise of Solar One, an environmental education organization, and MOUSE, a group that focuses on helping young people learn by using technology; the students will be challenged in ways they have never experienced.
Through the project, the students will learn all about sustainable design and, with the help of their leaders, will be able to offer recommendations on specific changes that can be made to the buildings where they spend each school day.
This is an exciting prospect that places the power of change in the students’ hands, allowing them to learn, grow, and improve their surroundings. Some of their tasks may include ideas on how to make their school buildings more energy efficient. Others might focus on sustainability. They will be able to learn how to do an energy audit or plan a rooftop garden.
In sum, these students will be getting a unique chance to learn and understand these pertinent issues at a very young age, with the hope that they will grow into conscientious citizens who care about the environment and know how to protect it.
Solar One and MOUSE reported in a recent news article that they are thrilled with the upcoming project, especially because National Science Foundation grants are extremely hard to come by. They described the application process as “rigorous.” Only a handful of grants are accepted each year.
Their hope is that this three-year project, which took several years to conceptualize, will encourage students to become more involved in their surroundings. They will not only learn to use new technologies, but they will be among the first to experience the Green Design Lab™ curriculum.
They will also help manage a Help Desk in their school, a task that is not only ingenious but gives them impeccable skills to use later in life. Ultimately, I think it’s an incredible project, and I wish these two nonprofits all the best in their efforts.
Author Bio: Catherine is a part-time blogger and believes in eco-friendly living by means of using eco-friendly products. She has written several other articles on eco-friendly bathroom units and on designing the right bathroom.