A Charlestown Company is taking the message of protecting the planet to local school children. Recently, officials visited the The James M. Curley School in Jamaica Plain to celebrate their Kids Green Their Schools Kick-Off learning cycle.
“What they’re kicking off is the beginning of their work as planet protectors,” says Dr. Ricky Stern, Executive Director of E-Inc. of Charlestown, The Environmental Science Learning and Action Center. “Children are sworn in as planet protectors and asked to save the planet by saving energy.”
A PowerPoint presentation that was a review of their studies was given, including two funny cartoons about saving energy. Two guests from NSTAR, Program Manager Mary McCarthy and a colleague, who fund the energy portion of the program for nine Boston-area schools, greeted participating students.
During the E-Inc. Kids Green Their Schools Program, the upperclassman learn about the environment, and are paired with a younger, partner class to teach them about how the planet works and why it is important to sustain it.
The lessons begin with learning how the sun is a source of energy for the earth, what energy is, what a fossil is, and then what a fossil fuel is and how it becomes energy. They continue to discuss global warming, Carbon Dioxide, and greenhouse gases. Students make an assessment of the school building to determine where most of the energy is flowing. They learn how electricity is made and conducted, and lastly about renewable energy. Each month, students can earn temporary tattoo badges with the E-Inc. emblem, a chameleon standing on the globe.
The Curley has a poster, “Let’s Go Planet Protectors,” that students can fill with slogans they coined about saving energy. They created signs that are placed around the classrooms to indicate areas where they should conserve, and reminding them to open/close the window shades to regulate the heat and light.
“It’s a wonderful program in the sense that it combines direct teaching about saving a resource with direct action about saving that resource,” says Dr. Stern. “Kids are able to take action, knowing why it’s important. A citizen conservationist for life gets made when they understand the science that drives the planet.”
Dr. Stern hopes that this will help decrease the energy consumption of the Curley and to eventually install solar panels on the roof.
E-Inc. has recently relocated to the Charlestown Navy Yard, Building 114 on 16th Street, and plans to work with neighboring museums in the future.
“The goal is to have most of this be teaching space,” maps out Dr. Stern in the new waterfront space. “There will be a big aquarium, shop, a classroom, an action exhibit, and investigation center. We’re hoping that Charlestown embraces us.”