Two hundred students, parents, teachers and school administrators from Carson City School District (CCSD) gathered at the Nevada Governor’s Mansion on May 24 to celebrate students taking part in McKinstry’s powerED program and Project ReCharge, a STEM-focused energy and sustainability curriculum program led by Envirolution.
CCSD hired McKinstry in May 2016 to conduct a comprehensive facility audit in search of energy savings. Dozens of potential improvements were identified, kicking off a $6.1 million contract spanning LED lighting retrofits, water conservation measures, heat pump replacements, improved HVAC systems and more.
McKinstry introduced powerED to CCSD students in October 2017. The program augments the district’s sustainability and STEM education initiatives by engaging students, staff and faculty in energy, water and waste conservation efforts. Ten CCSD schools are participating.
Each school designates a powerED champion to spearhead extracurricular activities, which include:
- Two behavior change campaigns per year focused on energy management and sustainability;
- Annual pledge campaigns to reduce participant impact and minimize waste
- Student-led classroom energy audits
McKinstry staff have also been training CCSD’s new energy and maintenance manager and collaborating with the school district’s maintenance team to identify and implement energy-saving opportunities. Last week, our team completed ENERGY STAR on-site audits with the goal of achieving ENERGY STAR certifications in all CCSD schools this year.
“In a time of limited financial resources for districts, finding ways to reduce costs and at the same time expand the relevance of our curriculum and opportunities for students is a win-win,” said Susan Keema, associate superintendent of educational services for Carson City School District.
The program concludes each year with an annual celebration and prize competition.
“The Carson City School District students wowed everyone with their final presentations,” said Alison Schwabe, sustainability program manager for McKinstry. “They showed an amazing amount of passion and creativity. It’s clear that Carson City schools are creating future energy leaders through their sustainability and STEM education programs.”
That passion and creativity shows in a public service announcement video created by third grade students at Empire Elementary School in Carson City. Students created the video from concept to script writing, filming and final editing. Empire Elementary won the annual “power prize” for this year.
CCSD is the most energy efficient school district in the state of Nevada and McKinstry is proud to work alongside of the district to drive their efforts even further. The majority of the district’s schools have ENERGY STAR scores above 90.