Wednesday , 20 August 2014
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FPL selects 5 teachers for classroom energy grants

Florida Power & Light Company recently announced that five teachers in Miami-Dade County were selected to receive $4,216 in funding through FPL’s 2013 Teacher Grant program.

The winning teachers will receive the funding to support classroom projects that help teach students about energy and adhere to the Florida State Board of Education’s Sunshine State Standards. In total, 43 teachers across FPL’s 35-county service territory have been selected to receive a total of $47,000.

“As new energy sources become more prevalent in our everyday lives, it’s more and more important that our children have a hands-on understanding of clean energy,” said Manny J. Rodriguez, FPL’s external affairs regional director for Miami-Dade County. “We’re thrilled to partner with Florida’s teachers to bring exciting, innovative projects into the classroom to get their students inspired to help us lead the way to tomorrow’s clean energy world.”

The winning teachers, schools and projects in Miami-Dade County are:

Susy Chu, grade 8, Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart — This project will help students explore and discover alternate forms of energy by building models of vehicles powered by fuel cells.

Rosa Milagros Rengifo, grades 6-8, Rockway Middle School — In “Solar Robotics” students will build robots powered by solar energy.

Suzanne Banas, grades 6-8, South Miami Middle Community School — Students will learn about sun, earth, and atmospheric interactions by combining NASA climate data with innovative and inexpensive instruments for ground based measurements.

Dianne Rizo and Ana Ugarte, grades 2- 4, Whispering Pines Elementary — Students will be challenged to think like engineers and find ways to make alternative energy sources available to the public. To accomplish this task, children will learn the basics of electricity using real circuits, solar panels, wind turbines, hand cranks, and batteries.

The awards range from $500 to $2,500 per project, based on the proposed budget and number of students that will benefit, and come from the NextEra Energy Foundation, which is funded by shareholders of FPL’s parent company, NextEra Energy Inc., the nation’s largest producer of renewable energy from the wind and the sun.

Award recipients are selected by the National Education Energy Development project (NEED), a non-profit organization working with energy companies and agencies to bring balanced energy curriculum and training to the nation’s classrooms.

“FPL and NEED share a common mission to educate the next generation about clean, sustainable energy sources,” said NEED executive director Mary Spruill. “Today, the need for this education is greater than ever, and that’s why we partner with FPL on these teacher grants to help ensure that Florida’s kids develop practical knowledge about clean energy sources.”

Projects were judged according to stated goals, energy content, creativity and plans for budget and evaluation. Completed projects may be featured on FPL’s Solar Station website at www.FPL.com/solarstations.

This is the fourth year for FPL’s Teacher Grant program and is part of a larger commitment to the state. So far, the company has granted more than $175,000 to 175 teachers, installed Next Generation Solar Energy Station arrays at 14 educational facilities across Florida, and built three large-scale solar power plants to power its customers.

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