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Powering Knowledge in Class and Beyond

Powering Knowledge in Class and Beyond
Powering Knowledge in Class and Beyond

In their Environmental Science class, seniors at Winslow Township High School are discovering their personal actions can make a difference for the environment – and spreading the news for greater impact.

For the fourth consecutive year, Environmental Science teacher Carolyn Tagmire is leading a group of 12th  graders through the EmPowered Schools program at WTHS in Camden County, NJ. Developed by the Alliance to Save Energy, EmPowered Schools uses a STEM curriculum to teach students about the importance of energy efficiency and provides tools to save energy and money, at school and home.

Participating schools are given a toolkit with energy diagnostic instruments for equipment testing and analysis, enabling students to monitor usage and make recommendations for improving energy efficiency. Among other activities, the WTHS group has conducted energy audits and used watt meters to determine how much energy they can save – and how even small actions can make a difference.

“The program shows how little changes really do add up, and that is empowering,” says Mrs. Tagmire. “These are not enormous or difficult efforts to make, but they do matter. They also enable the students to see the big picture, what the overall impact can be.”

The EmPowered Schools group liked the climate portion of the program, too, according to Mrs. Tagmire. Based on the results of their carbon footprint calculators, the students have already made changes to their everyday lives.

The group also plans to expand the area of the school building which they patrol to increase opportunities to conserve energy. Determined to increase awareness, Mrs. Tagmire’s students have gone into the science classes of fellow students in 9th through 12th grades to teach the value of energy efficiency.

Her students are also learning about career options and honing skills they’ll use well into the future. “Worlds of opportunity are opening up, as the students see that not only can they have ‘green’ careers but that any job can incorporate energy efficiency.”

“You can apply sustainability knowledge to any line of work or field, and the program activities also enable personal skill-building,” says Mrs. Tagmire. In one exercise, her students brainstormed together on how to build a “greener” airport and, along the way, utilized their communication, negotiation and teamwork skills.

Mrs. Tagmire sees the change in attitude and behavior among both her current students and former students. “Graduates tell me they continue to apply what they learned in this class about saving energy,” says Mrs. Tagmire. “They realize they do have the ability to create positive change, easily, for themselves and the greater good.”

EmPowered Schools hosts PK-12th grade schools from across the state. A few spots are still available for the 2022-2023 program – contact Francesca Arato. Learn more online about the EmPowered Schools program from the Alliance to Save Energy. 

Save energy and money -- check out SJG Energy Efficiency programs available exclusively for SJG customers.





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