West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund (WPPSEF) awarded the Waldorf School of Pittsburgh (WSP) a $25,000 grant to co-fund the installation of an innovative Energy Dashboard that shows real-time energy usage feedback to monitor and display energy use as part of WSP’s Smart Energy Living Learning Lab. WPPSEF is providing this co-funding to collect, measure, and display real-time energy use and building performance data to inform WSP’s future strategic energy efficiency improvements and building upgrades as well as enable hands-on and experiential learning throughout their educational programs and teaching curriculum.
The goals of the Smart Energy Living Learning Laboratory include:
- Unlocking knowledge of real-time energy use, which impacts occupant behavior change
- Creating experiential learning opportunities for WSP students, parents, and faculty; educators in training; visitors to the school; and students from the region during summer camps; and
- Inspiring other schools in the region to implement similar infrastructure and energy efficiency practices for reduced environmental impact and operational costs, as well as enhanced learning opportunities
“Students want to know how to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow. WSP is compelled to meet the significant need to equip them to solve daunting environmental problems – and, to do this by demonstrating the world’s best green building practices, innovative technology, and curricula standards in a healthy, toxin-free learning space, and by instilling the critical connection between ecological and human health,” shares Kirsten Christopherson-Clark, WSP Head of School.
The Waldorf educational experience ensures that students fully appreciate the impact every person has on their surrounding environment. To be able to measure the impact of human behavior on the consumption of energy in real-time expands WSP’s mission and further influences behavior change that is mindful of environmental impact. The experiential learning at the Laboratory will inspire students’ thinking and creativity to address solutions to some of our most important challenges today, and educate parents and future teachers about the importance of energy use.
“Through the Smart Energy Living Learning Laboratory, we aspire to elevate an essential conversation in the greater Pittsburgh and Western PA communities about the types of energy used to power our schools and the impact on financial resources, the environment, and health,” notes Ms. Christopherson-Clark.
This project is a collaboration between the Waldorf School of Pittsburgh, Green Building Alliance’s Green & Healthy Schools Academy, and Energy Assurance Solutions, with generous support from funders including WPPSEF.
Founded in 1993, the Waldorf School of Pittsburgh (WSP) is one of over 160 U.S. Waldorf schools acknowledged by the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA) and belongs to a network of 1,900 independent, nonsectarian, nonprofit schools worldwide. The school is the single source in the region for those interested in the Waldorf approach to learning and teaching. Through its sustainability efforts, practices, and culture, WSP has been a leader and model for other K-12 school districts and universities throughout the Western Pennsylvania region, and many that reside in the West Penn Power territory. Learn more at www.waldorfpittsburgh.org
The West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund (WPPSEF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that invests in the deployment of sustainable energy technologies that benefit West Penn Power ratepayers in Pennsylvania. WPPSEF investments are focused in three broad categories:
- Deployment of sustainable and clean energy technologies;
- Deployment of energy efficiency and conservation technologies; and
- Facilitating economic development, environmental betterment, and public education as they relate to sustainable energy deployment in the WPP service region.
Visit http://www.wppsef.org for further information.
Kirsten Christopherson-Clark, Waldorf School of Pittsburgh, (412)-441-5792 firstname.lastname@example.org
Barbara Robuck, West Penn Power Sustainable Energy Fund, 814-865-7380 email@example.com