Short Line Students Recognized Nationally
Leslie Lively’s 2014-2015 fourth grade class at Short Line School was recognized at the June 1 meeting of the Wetzel County Board of Education for being selected as the National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project WV Elementary School of the Year as well as the National Elementary School of the Year.
The NEED Project began almost 35 years ago as a one-day celebration of energy education when National Energy Education Day was recognized by a Joint Congressional Resolution. That same year, President Jimmy Carter issued a Presidential Proclamation stressing the need for comprehensive energy education in schools, a reduction of dependence on fossil fuels, and increasing the use of renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency.
According to NEED’s website (“http://www.need.org”>www.need.org), its mission is to “promote an energy conscious and education society by creating effective networks of students, educators, business, government and community leaders to design and deliver objective, multi-sided energy education programs.”
NEED trains and assists teachers in “harnessing the energy of the classroom – the energy of students.”
Furthermore, NEED “works with energy companies, agencies and organizations to bring balanced energy programs to the nation’s schools with a focus on strong teacher professional development, timely and balanced curriculum materials, signature program capabilities and turn-key program management.”
NEED describes its students and teachers as local experts and leaders in community discussions on energy use, energy efficiency and new energy technologies. These experts reach out to the public to actively teach about energy and energy decisions; furthermore, they practice smart energy decision making with their own families.
Furthermore NEED also helps meet the requirements of state standards, Common Core, and the Next Generation Science Standards.
NEED schools have classroom-based programs in which students learn about energy. Some of these schools have student leaders who extend these activities into their communities. To recognize outstanding achievement and reward student leadership, the NEED Project conducts the National Youth Awards Program for Energy Achievement.
This awards program combines academic competition with recognition to acknowledge everyone involved in NEED during the year, and to recognize those who achieve excellence in energy education in their schools and communities. Students and teachers set goals and objectives and keep a record of their activities. In April, students combine materials not presentations and submit them online.
Lively’s students wanted to involve Short Line School staff, classmates, and community into their learning so their efforts would have long term effects. Just a few of the things Lively’s students accomplished the 2014-2015 school year are: writing letters asking for guest speakers, making energy booklets for restaurants, making radio commercials, morning announcements, using the all call system in the county to tell people about energy conservation, taking an energy savings pledge, and participating in a recycling program.
In art class, Lively’s students made reminder signs to hang around the school, as well as Wanted Posters. They placed energy facts on the sign outside of the school and helped research and design an electricity unit.
Lively remarks that students really took “the lead role.”
“As students worked on one project another group of students would begin working on another. So throughout the year many different projects were going on at the same time,” he adds.
The major project that Short Line School students took on this year was the Energy Carnival. The fourth grade class decided it would be fun to do an Energy Carnival for the community. The students research their specific energy source or form of energy then wrote a lesson plan and questions about their subject area. Students’ lesson plans were approved and finalized. Each group then had to present their lesson to small groups as practice. The students’ last mission was to make up a game that the students and community members could do once they answered the questions.
Energy bucks were given out for correct answers and used for door prize drawings.
Next week Lively and some of his students will travel to Washington, DC to attend the NEED Youth Awards and accept their award. Students will get the chance to tour DC while they are there.
For more information on NEED, check out their website at www.need.org
To check out Short Line School’s project, head to www.need.org/elementarywinner