Conserving energy in our times today is definitely a priority to be understood and practiced by everyone. The fifth grade students in the St. Lucie County School District on the N.E.E.D. (National Energy Education Development) project team at Mariposa Elementary School are busy focusing on learning and teaching energy sources to students in other grade levels within the school. Mariposa Elementary is the N.E.E.D. state elementary school of the year, and a national finalist in the N.E.E.D. program. This year’s group is highly motivated and working towards attending the national awards ceremony in Washington D.C. this June. Mariposa team members include Cathy Smith, Justin Locklar, Hannah Wright, Monica Kalina, Mary McCartney, Mikayla Sampson, Tnanazia Young, Johann Vianna, Allysha Lillard, Jan Feliciano, and Adam Archer.
More than 30 years ago, the NEED Project began as a one-day celebration of energy education when National Energy Education Day was recognized by a Joint Congressional Resolution. In the same year, President Jimmy Carter issued a Presidential Proclamation stressing the need for comprehensive energy education in our schools, a reduction of our dependence of fossil fuels, and increasing use of renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency. Since its founding, NEED has kept its Kids Teaching Kids philosophy as a fundamental principle of NEED programming – encouraging students to explore, experiment and engage and encouraging teachers to embrace student leadership in the classroom. NEED trains and assists teachers in harnessing the energy of the classroom – the energy of students.
Florida schools participate in NEED workshops, receive grants and solar installations compliments of NEED’s partnership with FPL, and have the opportunity to learn about renewable energy and energy efficiency at Gulf Power sponsored Energy Expos and NEED workshops. More workshops, grants, and opportunities are planned for the 2013-2014 school year. (see Slideshow).
REF: Lucie Links Newsletter (SLCSD) Mar. 2014