NV Energy, DRI renew long term K-12 outreach program

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(RENO) - Building on more than 12 years of successful outreach Nevada’s largest public utility, NV Energy, the NV Energy Foundation and DRI, the environmental research arm of the Nevada System of Higher Education, have renewed their commitment to the state’s K-12 educators and next generation of scientists and engineers.

Through a generous funding effort to support the institute’s GreenPower Program — a partnership created in 2000 between DRI, volunteer committee members, NV Energy and their customers — NV Energy and its NV Energy Foundation will continue to help enhance energy efficiency and renewable energy education in Nevada.

A contribution of $180,000 from the NV Energy Foundation will support GreenPower for two years, and an additional $70,400 from NV Energy will fund the expansion of the program’s EnergyWise Educators Academy to schools throughout Nevada.

“The work that the Desert Research Institute is doing through its GreenPower program to teach our youth about renewable energy and energy efficiency aligns with our company’s commitment to sustainability, education and our communities,” said Michael Yackira, NV Energy President and chief executive officer. “We are proud to support this important part of the Nevada System of Higher Education.”

The Nevada EnergyWise Educators Academy offers teachers continuing education credits and an intense program focused on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and energy efficiency curriculum that can be incorporated in middle school and high school math and science classes. The program has helped more than 2,000 Clark County students since its inception in 2012 and will be expanding its efforts to reach northern Nevada students this fall.

Funding helped GreenPower kick start its annual summer EnergyWise Educators training last week in Las Vegas and this week in Reno.

The Las Vegas training also hosted Pat Skorkowsky, Clark County School District’s new superintendent.

Additionally, funding will support GreenPower’s revitalized “Green Box” initiative — which supplies free, portable lesson units via green suitcases that can be delivered to any participating school.

The Green Boxes will focus on an energy efficiency theme and will include all the curriculum and materials necessary to teach students about a wide variety of sustainable energy topics. Each kit aligns with National Next Generation Science Standards and Nevada State Science Standards. Teachers can check out a Green Box for their classrooms free of charge, and then return it to GreenPower when finished with the unit. Funding will help place Green Boxes in Nevada schools this fall and also help restock the boxes after each use.

“I can’t thank them enough for their tremendous support,” said Amelia Gulling, GreenPower program administrator. “NV Energy and the NV Energy Foundation have been amazing partners for so many years and through this kind of dedication to STEM education and renewable energy awareness we are improving the lives of both teachers and students across the state of Nevada.”

More information about the GreenPower Program can be found online at www.dri.edu/greenpower.


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