Keeping it cool at John Eager Howard

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Green Keepers and Carl Young posing with the completed wind turbine (5/21/12)

In our last post, we shared how John Eager Howard Elementary School is trying to improve access and awareness to healthy food. In today's post, we will provide updates for John Eager Howard's response to Baltimore City's "Energy Challenge," one of the other remaining two 2012 Sustainability Challenge goals. John Eager Howard, along with 8 other schools, is an "Energy Hub" school where students, faculty, parents, and staff design and execute projects related to energy, electricity, and global warming.

After learning about renewable and non-renewable energy being used in the United States today, Green Keepers committed to build a wind turbine for John Eager Howard. First, they took a field trip to the Maryland Science Center, where they built and tested a variety of wind turbine blades.

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Green Keepers design and test the ideal wind turbine blades on a field trip to the Maryland Science Center (4/20/12)

Next, Reservoir Hill resident Carl Young taught Green Keepers about magnets and electricity with small hands on experiments. Combining their conclusions from these experiments with their knowledge about wind turbine blades, Green Keepers designed  their ideal wind turbine.

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Reservoir Hill resident, Carl Young, teaching Green Keepers about electricity using magnets (4/26/12)

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Green Keepers putting together the wind turbine (5/21/12)

After weeks of brainstorming, Green Keepers constructed its own wind turbine! On windy days, the turbine will power the radio in the art room.

Meanwhile, in an effort to share all that Green Keepers were learning about energy with the rest of the school, John Eager Howard expanded its "Energy Hub" status to join the "Cool the Earth" program. "Cool the Earth" uses school-wide assemblies and "golden ticket coupons" to convert "cooling" behavior into actual prizes for students and their families. For example, students and parents can earn trading cards, pencils, and planting seeds for every action recorded.

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Green Keepers getting ready for the "Cool the Earth" assembly (4/19/12)

The program kicked off with a school-wide assembly starring Koda, a young polar bear searching for his home. After realizing his normal bed has melted, Koda decides to investigate why earth has 'global warming fever'. Over the course of the assembly, students learn that the earth is sick because humans are living in a way that produces too much carbon dioxide. In the end, Koda asks the students to help save his home and the earth by completing some simple tasks, like turning off the light before leaving a room.

Students track their efforts by turning in completed coupons, each of which challenges them to take different actions: walk more; go meatless for a day; take shorter showers, etc. Based on the coupons collected by the end of the school year, JEH students collectively saved 93,733 pounds of carbon--enough to cancel out 8 cars!

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JEH student, faculty, teacher and community partner participating in the Cool the Earth assembly (4/30/12)