November 25, 2010

Howard County school to test wind energy

By Erica L. Green, The Baltimore Sun, 25 November 2010

A Catholic school in Howard County will soon be joining a growing initiative to explore wind power’s ability to supply energy.

Our Lady of Perpetual Help School, an elementary/middle school in Ellicott City, received a $50,000 grant this week from Constellation Energy to partner with Baltimore’s Federal Hill Preparatory School to launch a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) project to study the alternative power source.

The schools will partner with the Albright Foundation and the University of Maryland Baltimore County to launch the project, which will evaluate whether a wind turbine can produce enough energy to power the two schools.

“We are excited to be recipients of the grant,” said Nancy Malloy, principal of Our Lady. “Most exciting is the additional exposure our students have to STEM-related activities and the impact that this exposure can have on them as they advance in their education.”

The grant program, “E2: Energy to Educate,” supports projects that advance energy innovation and STEM programs in schools. Constellation Energy awarded a total of $350,000 to 10 projects in its service communities.

During the spring semester, students at Our Lady will further their STEM curriculums by learning concepts, participating in labs, doing research, using technology such as Weather Bug and evaluating the business elements to make a conclusion on the viability of using wind at their own school.

“This type of project will touch so many elements of our learning objectives while also getting students exposed to current social concerns,” Malloy said.

A team of middle school students will use the grant during the spring semester, and school leaders said that if they determine that wind energy is viable, they would explore it as an energy option.

Constellation Energy also awarded Energy to Educate grants to other area school districts.

In a Baltimore City School Sustainability Challenge, 30 schools will participate in conservation and sustainability projects – including evaluating and comparing energy usage.

And 130 students in schools run by KIPP Baltimore will learn about environmental impact, alternative energy and hybrid-electric technologies through activities, in partnership with the UMBC Sherman Scholar Fellows and the Maryland Department of Transportation.

The University of Maryland, College Park, Morgan State University and Mount St. Mary’s University also received grants.

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