There have been some attention-grabbing stories in the news recently, ranging from royal nuptials, to natural disasters, and international manhunts. In the midst of these, I came upon one news story that provided tremendous inspiration and pride.
In a recent Post Standard piece Elizabeth Doran reported on a Tully High School senior, Dewey Northrup, who, along with his classmates spent three years designing a way to use solar panels and wind to power the school’s outdoor scoreboard [Student Project Lights Up Scoreboard: Tully seniors design and build energy-efficient outdoor board (Page A-3, Post Standard, Monday, May 2, 2011)]. As Elizabeth reported, the solar/wind-powered scoreboard was unveiled and used for the first time during a recent lacrosse game.
In my phone conversation later that morning with Tully Superintendent Kraig Pritts (a former technology teacher himself), he reminded me how a community can and should pull together to support young people as they develop their critical thinking, teamwork and innovation skills. Superintendent Pritts expressed the pride he takes in seeing students engaged in “real-life learning” that takes place inside and outside of the classroom.
He said it so well, “Students learned about renewable energy. But they learned you can’t expect immediate results”. Dewey Northrup and his fellow Tully classmates spent three years diligently working on this project!
Congratulations to Mr. Northrup and the Tully School district staff for your leadership and for creating a culture of innovation. We’re proud to have you as an ESF in the High School partner school! We wish former Tully teacher, Kevin Sommer (now at Jamesville-DeWitt School District), Tully High School’s current ESF in the High School teacher, Rebecca Humphrey, and everyone at Tully School District a great end to your school year – keep discovering, keep innovating!
On a related matter, as an extension of the scoreboard project, the Tully District has installed what is believed to be the first public school-based renewable energy charging station for electric cars. Superintendent Pritts will hold a press conference Thursday, May 12, 2011 at 9:00 am at Tully Junior-Senior High School to demonstrate the electric car recharging station and its use with a Chevrolet Volt.
The Tully Central School District is constantly seeking ways to increase its use of environmentally friendly projects. Superintendent Pritts explained that this is only one of the several programs that have been set in motion to provide a hands-on learning environment for its students and represents an incredible collaboration between school, community and higher education.
Dr. Chuck Spuches, Associate Provost for Outreach
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Student Project Lights Up Scoreboard: Tully seniors design and build energy-efficient outdoor board by Elizabeth Doran is available at www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2011/05/tully_high_school_students_bui.html
Students, parents and educators from rural, urban, and suburban schools may learn more about ESF in the High School at www.esf.edu/outreach/esfhs or by contacting Dr. Rick Beal at ESF Outreach.
Information about this summer’s Introduction to Green Entrepreneurship course is available at www.esf.edu/outreach/green
Information about ESF’s upcoming SUNY SPARE- Solar Power As Renewable Energy Photovoltaic Installation and Maintenance Training is available at www.esf.edu/outreach/pd/spare.
Tully Central Schools is on the web at: www.tullyschools.org