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Student Success at Johnstone AMSA

Student Success at Johnstone AMSA
A student program about energy efficiency and a school curriculum focused on STEM? Sounds like a perfect match! And indeed it is, for the EmPowered Schools program and the Applied Math and Science Academy (AMSA).
 
Located at the Edward R. Johnstone School in Vineland (Cumberland County), NJ, AMSA is chiefly designed for students who have an interest in math and science. The AMSA program is designed to enable students, in grades 5 to 12, to apply their learning to real-world contexts and problems.
 
This school year, STEM teacher Tara Piccione wanted to educate students about energy efficiency through a project-based curriculum. “Overall, my goal was to save energy in our school and to support awareness and behavior change to combat climate change,” said Ms. Piccione.
 
She chose to engage her fifth-grade STEM class in the EmPowered Schools program, developed by the Alliance to Save Energy. EmPowered Schools uses a STEM curriculum and activities to teach students about the importance of energy efficiency, using tools to save energy and money at school and beyond.
 
Success was swift: in just one marking period, Ms. Piccione’s group of 25 students reached several key benchmarks in the EmPowered Schools program. They completed assignments involving energy basics, climate, energy audit, energy patrol, watts, water and renewables.
 
Beyond their own program group, “these 5th graders brought energy awareness to all our classrooms, students and staff,” said Ms. Piccione. “They made posters, used all the assessment tools and monitored other classrooms for energy-efficient practices. They also were able to apply the program activities at home.”  
 
Overall, the participating students enjoyed the program and recognized its importance – especially the value of energy efficiency. When asked about their experience in EmPowered Schools, one student reported: “I think it is important that we’ve learned all this stuff about energy saving so that we learn and teach future generations how important it is to help our earth.”
 
“What we learned in the EmPowered Schools program is very important because it can help people save a ton of money, and it also helps keep the environment healthy,” said another fifth-grader. Other students mentioned they’ve shared the program’s practices at home – and now family members are taking energy efficiency measures to use less energy and lower their bills.
 
Another benefit of participation in EmPowered Schools is the development of valuable skills which the young people can apply now and in the future. Several students reported they’ve learned and improved their teamwork, communication, problem-solving, creativity and leadership skills. For these AMSA students, those skills may come in handy soon: those who are successful at AMSA graduate with an Associate's degree in one of three science pathways from Rowan College of South Jersey before graduating from Vineland High School.
 
 
South Jersey Gas is pleased to support this hands-on learning program for the fourth consecutive year. EmPowered Schools hosts PK-12th grade schools from across the state.
Learn more 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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