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South Tama County Community School District will host a Sustainable Schools AmeriCorps Team to support STEM education and facility energy efficiency. Two full-time members will assist the elementary, middle, and high school in a pilot program designed to support the Next Generation Science Standards in a hands-on, project-based way. Members will also look for energy savings in the buildings and provide resources to improve efficiency through energy audits. Members will arrive in September and serve until August of 2018. This district partnership is made possible with a $20,000 Bright Ideas Grant, which was accepted by Alliant Energy in May. The major program contributors are the Corporation for National and Community Service (AmeriCorps) and Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service (State Support). Other districts involved in the program include Waverly-Shell Rock, Davis County, Dubuque Community, and Holy Family Catholic Schools. The Center for Energy and Environmental Education at the University of Northern Iowa is expanding on their AmeriCorps programs for the 2017-2018 year. Green Iowa AmeriCorps, a community service organization hosted at the University of Northern Iowa, helps Iowans become more energy efficient through residential weatherization, energy education, and community outreach. The work has flourished since it began in 2009, weatherizing hundreds of homes and saving thousands of dollars in energy costs annually. Sustainable Schools AmeriCorps will be an extension of the existing Green Iowa program that anticipates reducing district-wide energy costs, assisting teachers and staff in implementing environmental project-based learning initiatives, and creating greater opportunities for low-cost service learning. This grant enhances current district efforts to support STEM programming, including the 10-year $1 million STEM grant received late last year.

 
 

 

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