Ecogy Energy Provides Extensive Educational Resources for Use in Local Schools

Children in Westchester schools may soon get a head start in their understanding of a technology that is poised to radically reshape the county and the world at large: renewable energy. Ecogy Energy, the Brooklyn-based developer, financier, and owner-operator of distributed energy resources (DERs) with deep involvement in Westchester County, announced today the completion of a lesson plan for use in local schools to its partners and clients. Ecogy, which specializes in developing DERs for traditionally underserved entities like affordable housing communities and houses of worship, continues to expand its footprint in the county.

The lesson plan was principally developed by Molly Gibian with Leilani Tian, Sundari Enkhtugs, and Karen Ge of the Stanford University Graduate School of Education. Gibian herself attained a master’s degree from the Stanford School of Education. The curriculum teaches the fundamentals of renewable energy to children in participating classrooms. Meeting all state requirements, the materials provided include both interactive activities and teachers’ guides. The educational program aims to provide a fun introduction into the technologies that have the potential to stave off catastrophic climate change, as well as the science behind them.

Gibian, lead author of the lesson plan, added, “The beautiful thing about this lesson plan is that the activities included are simply a lot of fun. Drawing on the latest educational research, the activities guarantee that Westchester’s children will enjoy themselves as they learn about renewable energy. We’re confident that the enthusiasm we put into the lessons will carry over to them!”

The graduate students emphasized that, “Most importantly, we wanted to center themes of sustainability and equity within energy decisions. One of our essential questions asks students, “How might we contribute to better decisions around energy use in our community?”

Beyond introducing the basics of renewable energy, the curriculum, which offers different levels of advancement for students ranging from kindergarten to the university level, introduces themes of career readiness, environmental justice, and the importance of women and people of color in STEM. While highlighting the advantages of renewable energy for the environment, the lesson plan is purely educational. It exposes students to concepts and technologies that will have major and increasing importance in their lifetimes.

With creative lesson ideas for students of all ages, Ecogy Energy doubles down on its commitment to Westchester County. The company intends to continue investing in the community by developing distributed energy resources, but also by investing in the next generation of environmental stewards. Isabelle Graj, Community Impact Manager at Ecogy, added, “Despite the growing success of clean energy, there are still tremendous challenges to face. We hope that these educational resources will equip passionate students with the skills needed to join us in fighting for Energy Democracy.”

Ecogy’s history in Westchester is extensive. The company developed the county’s first community solar project, at the Croton Department of Public Works. Community solar arrangements allow for multiple households and businesses to take advantage of a single, larger solar array. Ecogy’s portfolio includes projects in Yorktown and Croton-on-Hudson, and the company built the largest solar canopy in the county at the Maryknoll Society in the Town of Ossining. The Brooklyn-based developer is also currently constructing another community solar system on top of the John-Paul Rodrigues Ossining Operations Building. That project is the first of many that will emerge from the Westchester Community Solar Partnership, a collaboration between Ecogy, NYPA, and Sustainable Westchester, a consortium of local governments.

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