Local teachers receive FPL energy grants
By Space Coast Daily // April 21, 2012
BREVARD COUNTY • VIERA, FLORIDA – Seven teachers in Brevard County have received grants from Florida Power & Light Company’s 2012 Renewable Energy Teacher Grant program.
The grants will fund classroom projects to teach students about renewable energy sources and uses.
Teachers received awards ranging from $500 to $3,000 for projects such as designing and racing solar-powered cars, building solar-powered water heaters and constructing a wind turbine to power a radio tower for broadcasting school announcements.
All projects adhere to the Florida State Board of Education’s Sunshine State Standards, and were judged and selected according to stated goals, energy content, creativity, and plans for budget and evaluation.
“FPL’s commitment to clean energy includes a commitment to help educate our children about its role in our everyday lives,” said Pamela Rauch, vice president of development and external affairs for FPL.
“We’re proud to join forces with Florida’s teachers to create innovative and inspiring ways for students to learn about renewable energy sources and applications, thereby preparing them to lead the way to a cleaner future.”
NextEra Energy Nation’s Largest Producer of Renewable Energy
This is the third year of FPL’s Renewable Energy Teacher Grant Program, which has now awarded more than $122,000 for 84 teacher projects across FPL’s 35-county service territory.
The awards come from the NextEra Energy Foundation, which is funded by shareholders of FPL’s parent company, NextEra Energy, Inc., the nation’s largest producer of renewable energy from the wind and the sun.
Recipients are selected by the National Education Energy Development project, a non-profit organization working with energy companies and agencies to bring balanced energy curriculum and training to the nation’s classrooms.
“As school budgets for science and technology shrink even as the need for education in those fields grows, we are proud to partner with FPL to fill the gap,” said NEED Executive Director Mary Spruill.
“The Renewable Energy Teacher Grant program, along with curriculum support and teacher training, gives our children critically needed opportunities to gain practical knowledge of today’s and tomorrow’s environmentally sustainable energy sources.”
The Renewable Energy Teacher Grant program is part of FPL’s larger commitment to the state, according to a press release from PR Newswire.
Beyond the teacher projects, FPL has installed Next Generation Solar Energy Station arrays at 14 educational facilities across Florida and built three large-scale solar power plants to supply power to its customers.
Brevard teachers receiving grants included Cocoa High’s Raul Montes; Edgewood Jr./Sr. High’s Mark Chimiak; Immaculate Conception School ‘s Stephen Hanrahan; the North Area Alternative Learning Center’s Chris Wtipil; Ralph Williams Elementary School’s Wendy Sheldon; Robert Louis Stevenson Elementary School’s Stacey O’Connor; and Surfside Elementary School’s Nancy Rehwoldt.