NEWARK, N.J., Dec. 6, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Nine New Jersey teachers have extra money to supplement lesson plans with hands-on learning, thanks to grants from PSEG. The PSEG Foundation has given over $25,000 this year to teachers who successfully linked their students' understanding of math, science, computer science, and technology with a passion and appreciation for the environment.
The energy company has awarded Garden State educators a total more than $358,000 since starting its Environmental Education grant program 19 years ago.
"Environmental education is fundamental to helping New Jersey's youth become responsible world citizens, and offers creative ways for both students and teachers to tie their appreciation of nature to academics," said Vaughn McKoy, president of the PSEG Foundation. "We remain strongly committed to supporting the efforts of our grantees - this successful partnership continues to provide kids and the general public with a better understanding of the environment and environmental issues."
Photos of winners are available upon request.
Saint Mary's Catholic Elementary School in Gloucester City
Gail Corey and Joan Bohrer's project, Ecological Stress and Species Diversity, will teach 7th and 8th graders about water pollution and its effect on the environment. Students will have use of a schooner on the Delaware River as a "floating classroom" for collecting and testing water samples. Upon culmination of the project, students will identify possible sources of pollution and learn how water quality impacts aquatic life.
Bloomfield High School
The Horseshoe Crab Project will give Michael Doyle's 9th graders an opportunity to study the world's four remaining horseshoe crab species and its relationship to the environment. They will conduct research at Sandy Hook Beach and create horseshoe crab artwork for exhibit at a contest for students throughout the Atlantic Coast. Doyle's project will give students a deeper appreciation of environmental issues and the diversity of life forms found in their New Jersey backyard.
Heritage Middle School in Livingston
While Exploring Alternative Energies Kenneth Zushma will teach 7th and 8th graders about careers in engineering, with a focus on introducing young women to the field. Students will design and construct a solar powered go-kart and take field trips to local competitive engineering events. Zushma will help his students learn about the impact of engineering on society and the role of engineers in emerging "green" technology.
Mary J. Donohoe School (Public School #4) in Bayonne
Marissa Pacilio's project will help students in kindergarten through 5th grade gain a respect for nature in an urban setting. The Outdoor Classroom will be a hands-on learning environment on school grounds and built with community volunteers. It will provide a safe place to study nature - raising plants and observing visiting animals and birds. Students will keep journals and visit a local nursery to learn about plant life.
Oresko School (Public School #14) in Bayonne
Barbara DeBenedictis and her 7th and 8th graders will turn an empty lot into a community vegetable garden and education center. Students will use compost soil to plant and maintain the new green space, and invite local residents to volunteer as "community gardeners." The Rock N' Renew Community Garden project will help students to be environmental ambassadors. They will also share their experiences with students working on similar projects in New York City and Hawaii.
Randolph High School
Through Windmill Generators: A Possibility for a "Greener" Tomorrow, Lindsay Heinrich will teach 9th graders about different sources of renewable energy, specifically wind power. In addition to visiting a wind farm in Atlantic City, students will construct their own miniature windmill and measure its output. Upon completion of the project, students will learn about the role alternative energy can play in decreasing New Jersey's carbon footprint.
Yeshiva Ktana of Passaic School, Girls Division
Through Solar Energy: Is This an Economical Choice for Our City, Ronit Gottesman will teach 6th graders about solar energy and together explore solar power as an alternative energy source for their school. During their research students will visit the Liberty Science Center and the weather station at Newark Airport. The project will conclude with Gottesman's class presenting their findings to the school board.
Bernardsville Middle School
Brian King's 8th graders will study the human impact on stream environments. His Community, Industrial, and Agricultural Effects on a Local Stream project will educate students and Bernardsville residents on how their community, industry and agriculture affect a local stream. As part of their study on a three-mile segment of the stream, students will collect water samples for testing and publish their findings in a local newspaper. The project will help students understand environmental citizenship and instill a sense of pride in their community.
Joseph E. Sohl Middle School in Linden
Kimberly Terwilliger will use a rain garden to help 6th, 7th and 8th graders understand the benefits of capturing and treating storm water. Through Rain Gardens: Benefiting an Urban Community, students will partner with Rutgers University to design, construct and monitor a 340-square foot rain garden, used to collect runoff storm water from the school roof. In addition to the ecological benefits, the rain garden will help students connect with the natural world and understand how human activities impact the natural systems of their community.
PSEG has a long tradition of caring for New Jersey's people and communities. Each year, the energy company and its employees invest millions of dollars and thousands of hours to improve the quality of life in New Jersey. The company's culture dictates that service to customers and community go hand-in-hand. For more, visit www.pseg.com.
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SOURCE Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG)