The New Albany-Plain Local School District has received a $270,000 grant for energy-related programs.
Through the monetary donation and in-kind contributions of supplies, materials and volunteer involvement, IGS Energy will fund the E3 (denoting energy, engineering and environment) program to be offered this winter.
A portion of the grant will provide Chromebooks for students and Internet connectivity to the solar-powered facility on the district campus, which now will be known as the E3 STEM Lab, said Assistant Superintendent Marilyn Troyer.
Solar panels will be installed on the roof and students will be able to monitor electricity usage and generation, Troyer said.
Grant funds also will provide professional development for 40 teachers – 20 teachers this year and 20 next year – through the PAST Foundation, Troyer said. Teachers will have an opportunity to learn how to create project-based lessons centered on STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
The lab can accommodate 25 to 30 students at a time, Troyer said, and district leaders hope the solar-powered facility could be completed by late fall.
“That’s our goal,” she said.
Certainly by next spring, she said, students will be using it for classes.
The lab was refurbished through a grant of more than $400,000 that the district received from the state a couple years ago, Troyer said.
In addition to funding the building’s reconstruction, the money also was used for an environmental-monitoring system.