Elementary student video furthers green efforts at school | NevadaAppeal.com

Elementary student video furthers green efforts at school

Carson City School District

Third and fourth graders from the Empire X-Factor Enrichment class at Empire Elementary School learned the technical side of filmmaking this past semester while producing a 2-minute public service announcement (PSA) on how students and teachers can further 'Green' efforts at their schools. The video clip was created solely by the students under the supervision of Ms. Nancy Cole, third grade teacher at Empire Elementary.

"The students did it all," Cole emphasized. "They began with brainstorming, which led to storyboarding. From there they rehearsed, directed and later filmed and edited the piece. Everything got real for them when the clapperboard sounded and the director called out 'Action!"

They not only learned how to be more energy efficient, but they also learned the intricacies of filmmaking, she continued. They learned what copyrights were and how they protect intellectual properties of artists. They learned why audio files and music are an important component. And they learned acting is harder than it looks.

The PSA will be highlighted at the powerED and Project ReCharge Year-end Student Recognition event on May 24 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Nevada Governor's Mansion. The event is designed to celebrate and recognize the efforts of students in Carson City to make their schools more energy efficient.

The video was created as part of a district-wide energy awareness and student and staff engagement program called powerED. The Carson City School District partnered with McKinstry to implement the program in an energy-awareness and savings program called powerED. The video concept from the students and Ms. Cole gained traction as an approach to reach a broader audience and promote energy efficiency on how to eliminate waste within facilities, ultimately helping the school district save money.

The powerED effort focuses on demonstrating to students and faculty how small changes — such as turning off lights, biking to school, recycling and composting, shutting off unused electronics and buying locally produced items — can make a difference in their lives every day.

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"McKinstry is excited about our partnership with the Carson City School District, said McKinstry CEO Dean Allen. "We're deeply committed to improving the learning environments of our schools. Our goal is to work with our partners through powerED to educate their building occupants about the importance of energy efficiency and associated environmental impacts in order to affect behavioral changes that save energy and money."

According to a U.S. Department of Energy report, money spent on fueling a school exceeds the money spent on salaries, supplies and books. Annually, schools spend in excess of $6 billion on energy alone, a cost that could be cut by 25 percent with better energy-saving initiatives.

In May 2016, the district hired McKinstry to audit all the district's facilities in search of additional energy savings. This audit, paid for by the Nevada Governor's Office of Energy (GOE) Performance Contract Audit Assistance Program, identified dozens of potential improvements that would save utility and operational costs. The resulting $6 million energy performance contract project that finished up this year included measures (i.e. a chiller replacement, new heat pumps, LED lighting retrofit and the powerED program) that offset over $2.5 million in capital requirements and improves the energy and operational performance of the 16 buildings in the scope. This project also provides more than $360,000 in total annual savings, with a utility cost savings of 16.1 percent.

According to the Nevada Department of Education 387.303 statewide annual financial report for fiscal year 2014-2015 (the most recent and available report), Carson City School District had the lowest energy expenditures, on a per pupil basis, of all Nevada school districts.