County Schools Plan Alternative Energy Projects

BERLIN – Four schools in Worcester County will pursue alternative energy education with the help of Delmarva Power mini-grants.

Delmarva Power recently awarded $10,338 total in alternative energy education mini-grants to 24 teachers in Maryland and Delaware schools.

Over the last two decades, Delmarva Power has awarded nearly $200,000 total in energy education mini-grants to regional schools, both public and private.

Four local schools will benefit from the power company’s alternative energy mini-grant program.

Teachers at Stephen Decatur High, Worcester Preparatory, Worcester Technical High and Snow Hill Elementary School (SHES) all received grants from the power company to pursue energy conservation habits and explore wind energy and alternative energy use.

Jennifer Corron, a ninth grade science teacher at Worcester Preparatory School in Berlin, applied for a grant for a hands-on alternative energy project for her ninth grade physics students.

“We will be doing a wind energy project to talk about wind mill use,” Corron said. “We’re going to make miniature windmills.”

The student-built mini-wind turbines will aid lessons in cutting down fuel-fired energy use, and on using the environment for power instead of alkaline batteries, which are a major item filling up landfills, Corron said.

“Funds are a lot tighter so the grant was a good opportunity to reach out to a local company and use their resources to our advantage,” said Corron.

SHES will use its mini-grant to make small changes to teach students and staff to conserve energy.

“Our motto is ‘making energy conservation a daily habit,’” said Assistant Principal Dave Gell, who along with third grade teacher Matt Record c-chairs the school’s new Energy Conservation Team.

“We’re tickled to death and thrilled for our kids,” Record said.

SHES will use the grant funds to buy textbooks on energy conservation for all grades in the school, from pre-K to third grade. The school will also purchase crank-powered lights to use in emergencies, instead of battery-powered flashlights, and will purchase compact fluorescent light bulbs to replace the incandescent light bulbs currently in use.

“We’re in the grassroots stage. We started it this year,” Gell said. “There’s a lot of little things we can do on a daily basis.”

Record said he hopes students will make it a habit to conserve energy at school, which will stay with them all their lives. “Every kid in our community and school will be affected in a permanent way,” Record said.