Kean is the only NJ recipient of Constellation’s
E2 Energy to Education grant
UNION, N.J. – Kean University has been awarded a $13,000 E2 Energy to Educate Grant from Constellation, a retail supplier of power, natural gas and other energy products for homes. Kean’s School of Environmental and Sustainability Sciences (SESS) will use the grant to provide a series of no-cost renewable energy workshops, just in time for Earth Day, to New Jersey high school students (April 17, 18 and 19) and educators (April 29). The University is one of only 17 recipients nationwide and the only grant awardee in the state.
“With the Constellation grant, the University will customize and extend our existing renewable energy curriculum to high school students,” said George Chang, Ph.D., dean of the College of Natural, Applied and Health Sciences at Kean. “We are particularly focused on students in underserved communities who are at a critical stage of exploring their academic interests and choosing their future career paths.”
Constellation introduced the E2 Energy to Educate program to engage students in grades 6 through 12 in problem-solving current and potential energy challenges. The grant supports projects designed to enhance students’ understanding of science and technology and to inspire them to think differently about energy.
Depletion of natural resources, climate change and overall market volatility are forcing existing energy industries in the United States to find ways to enhance the security and increase the flexibility of energy supplies. Kean’s SESS workshops will address the trend toward decentralized energy generation.
“More and more, renewable energy sources such as solar heating, solar panels and fuel cells are being installed in homes, buildings and throughout communities,” said Dongyan Mu, Ph.D., P.E., assistant professor in SESS. “These alternative ‘in-home’ forms of generating energy rely on clean and domestic energy sources, can be installed and maintained almost entirely on site, and are economically competitive to conventional energy.”
The SESS workshops will focus on the basics of applying renewable energy, the impact of home energy use and life-cycle assessment (LCA) of these “green” energy sources. The curriculum will include a wide range of instruction covering solar panels, fuel cells and green buildings, as well as the environmental impacts of renewable energy.
“These renewable energy workshops will focus on strengthening students’ critical thinking and understanding of sustainability while providing hands-on approaches alongside relevant software tools to help engage students in the learning process,” added Mu. “Through this initiative, we hope to provide students, educators and the community with the necessary skills for implementing renewable energy usage while increasing their environmental awareness.”
The renewable energy workshops will be held at Kean University's Union campus. There is no cost for students or educators to participate, but registration is required. For more information or to register, visit http://www.kean.edu/~sess/activities/events/energy_2017.html.