CMSD is among three urban districts in the state to benefit from the grant, which will cover the costs of rolling out Environmental Dashboard at Mound, Orchard, Hannah Gibbons, George Washington Carver, Buhrer Dual Language, Garfield, Almira and Euclid Park schools and East Tech High School.
Environmental Dashboard shows students real-time data about the amount of electricity their school uses monthly, daily or even hourly. Teachers will develop lessons to help students interpret what this data means, how electricity use affects the environment and what they can do to reduce their school's own environmental impact, said Timothy Sisson, who coordinates STEM content in District schools. For example, if students make an effort to turn off the lights every time they leave a room, they can check the dashboard to see how this affects overall electricity use in their building.
“They start seeing that if more of us did these things across the community, the city, the state, the country and the world, they can have a greater impact on the global environment,” Sisson said.
The program was developed by scientists at Oberlin and implemented over several years in buildings on campus, across the city of Oberlin and in Oberlin's public schools. The dashboard combines real-time feedback with community voices to draw attention to positive actions of youth and community members who are already working to build more resilient and sustainable communities.
“There’s a need for students to have a strong background in environmental science in terms of college and career readiness because green industries are growing by leaps and bounds, particularly in Northeast Ohio,” said Kirsten Mahovlich, science curriculum coordinator for grades 7-12.
It's also a chance for schools to connect with their neighborhoods.