Constellation, an Exelon Company, has awarded Clarkson University a $35,000 grant as a part of their E² Energy to Educate grant program.
This second consecutive grant from Constellation will allow Clarkson to expand its current partnership with Canton Central School and engage more than 1,000 K-12 students in a district-wide food waste collection system and education program.
The project, "Food-to-Energy, Phase 2: Expanding a K-12/University Partnership to Institutionalize a Resource Recovery Program," will be led by Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Stefan Grimberg and Associate Professor of Engineering and the Institute for STEM Education Jan DeWaters.
"Trained Clarkson students will partner with classroom teachers for classroom instruction and mentoring and will work with the Middle School Green Team and High School Environmental Club to promote food waste separation in the cafeterias," says Grimberg. "Teacher workshops will promote regional expertise."
Through E² Energy to Educate, Constellation offers grade-school and college students opportunities to experience real-world problem-solving for today’s and tomorrow’s energy challenges. Grant funds support projects designed to enhance students’ understanding of science and technology and inspire them to think differently about energy.
"We'll be taking advantage of the enthusiasm surrounding the food waste separation program in the middle- and high-school cafeterias, to expand it to the elementary school. This year, we will also focus on identifying a sustainable organic waste treatment source," adds DeWaters. "Again, we will leverage our partnerships with Cornell Cooperative Extension and Canton Central to conduct a number of new educational tasks."
Among those tasks will be developing and delivering a few new interactive learning modules; coaching students in the cafeteria on proper food waste separation; a professional development workshop for SLL BOCES teachers in March; and student field trips to study Cornell Cooperative Extension's small farm digester, Clarkson's food waste digester, and a farm-scale anaerobic digestion system.
This year, Constellation awarded $467,252 in grants to only 18 hands-on STEM projects, which will reach more than 19,000 students in grade six through college.
Constellation, an Exelon company, is a leading competitive energy company providing power, natural gas, renewable energy, and energy management products and services for homes and businesses across the continental United States.