SANTA MONICA-MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

PRESS RELEASE

 

CONTACT:  Chi Kim, Principal                                    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
310.457.9370 x202                                                         06 May 2009

 

Point Dume Marine Science School Joins Local Power Grid With Solar

 

Point Dume Marine Science School (PDMSS), a public elementary school within the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, will reduce its carbon footprint to help save the planet.  With the financial support of The David Geffen Foundation, Shangri-La Construction, Diana and Roger Jenkins, Kelly and Ron Meyer, PDMSS PTA, and proceeds from a lemonade stand managed by second graders, PDMSS has successfully added thirty-three solar panels to one of its buildings.  Next week, PDMSS will be the first public elementary school in southern California to join the local power grid due to public and private community partnerships that supported the school’s focus on environmental education and advocacy.    

Point Dume Marine Science School students are taught about the fragile ecosystems and how one’s choices make a vital difference to the world.  Students learn to be solutions oriented and thus recycle,  compost, reuse steel water bottles, reduce trash, and participate in the Annual Heal the Bay Beach Cleanup.  Students sold reusable grocery bags to raise money for a film about watershed protection.  They also successfully advocated to the local school board to ban the use of styrofoam lunch trays in the school’s cafeteria. Fifth grader, Emma Kelly, states,  “Learning about the environment teaches students that they can make a difference in their own school and hopefully their homes.”


Over the course of the last two and a half years, PDMSS has been working on enhancing its environmental science studies to add solar panels to the school. Because of its intense  focus on the environment, PDMSS students have played a vital role in being  advocates for a greener world.  A group of students wanted to make a difference so they raised funds to support the project by having a lemonade  stand as their end of year party. “We were reading Time for Kids, and we read this article about solar panels.  And we decided that we wanted to put  them on our school.  It makes me feel pretty good that I earned money for  the lemonade stand.  Instead of using electricity, we wanted to help the  environment by getting solar panels,” stated Tyler Ray, third grader.   The dream of having a living model of energy conversion at students’ fingertips will come to fruition as a wireless monitoring system comes online  when PDMSS joins the power grid with Southern California Edison.  Students will be able to log on to see how much of the sun’s energy is  being converted into electricity from any computer on campus.


Thirty-three solar modules were installed by Perma City Solar on southward facing classrooms to ensure maximum sun exposure.  Students and faculty alike take great pride in the fact that their school alone is preventing 3.52 tons of coal from being burned and 10,919 pounds of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere.  When asked his thoughts about the project, fifth grader, Harry Putterman said, “It’s a learning experience to find ways to help stop global warming. If you learn about it then you can help stop it.”

Chi Kim, Principal of PDMSS, “After two and a half years of going through the design, DSA approval, public bidding, and final installation and DSA inspection process, it is hugely gratifying to finally have solar panels on our school building. It has been our goal to tie in all aspects of our environmental science curriculum and bring in real life models for our students.  Thanks to some exceptional public and private community partnerships, we are the beneficiaries of a community that believes in working together to create a more sustainable world for future generations.  I am thankful that our students can really be a part of our contribution to reducing our carbon footprint.”

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SANTA MONICA-MALIBU UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

1651 16TH Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404

ph: 310.450.8338; fax: 310.581.1138

www.smmusd.org